European rugby fixtures are given the green light after French government gives travel exemptions

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European rugby fixtures are given the green light after French government give officials vital travel exemptions to allow next two rounds of Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup matches to go ahead

  • The next two rounds of European rugby fixtures look set to be able to go ahead
  • There were fears that travel restrictions would stop UK teams going to France
  • However, the French government have given sides exemptions to fulfill fixtures 


European rugby officials are pressing ahead with the next two rounds of the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, after receiving vital travel exemptions from the French government.

Following urgent negotiations between tournament organisers EPCR, relevant leagues, unions and governments, the decision has been taken to play rounds three and four of the pool stage, which were thought to be in danger. 

Last month, seven fixtures between French and UK teams were hastily postponed after the government in Paris suddenly imposed tough new border controls in response to the surge in the Omicron variant of COVID.

French and UK teams will lock horns in European rugby after government intervention

French and UK teams will lock horns in European rugby after government intervention

Sportsmail understands that an exemption has now been secured on the grounds of ‘economic activity’ which will allow club personnel and match officials to engage in cross-Channel journeys to fulfil fixtures next weekend and the weekend after. 

At this stage, EPCR is committed to ensuring the tournaments proceed to a conclusion on finals weekend in Marseille at the end of May – with talks on-going about the re-scheduling of postponed matches.

However, given the state of turmoil at present – with COVID outbreaks disrupting several fixtures in all of the major leagues – clubs are still sceptical about whether all the games will be contested as intended.

The nexrt two rounds of the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup can be played

The nexrt two rounds of the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup can be played

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