Six Nations: France have not yet decided whether to double-guest players

France's rugby players are due to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 from mid-January, but it has not yet been decided whether the mandate will apply to visiting six-nation teams.  (File image).

Christophe Ena / AP

France’s rugby players are due to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 from mid-January, but it has not yet been decided whether the mandate will apply to visiting six-nation teams. (File image).

The Six Nations teams have not yet heard whether the French government will insist on visiting players to be fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 by 2022 series.

From 15 January, all professional athletes in France must be fully jabbed, and Daily Telegraph reported that the government “will confirm whether the mandatory requirement will also apply to guest teams from abroad”.

If Emmanuel Macron’s government decides that overseas players will have to comply, it could have consequences for France’s Six Nations rivals.

France will host Italy in Paris on February 7 and Ireland six days before concluding their campaign with a test on March 30 with Eddie Jones’ England team.

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France scored a convincing 24-17 victory over England in Paris in 2020. They are going to a rematch in March 2022.

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England center Henry Slade, pictured in a test against Canada, has previously said he would not be vaccinated.

Henry Browne / Getty Images

England center Henry Slade, pictured in a test against Canada, has previously said he would not be vaccinated.

England’s first-choice center Henry Slade said in May last year that he did not want a vaccine.

News reports have revealed that 98 percent of professional rugby players in France are fully vaccinated.

The French government has limited the number of sporting events to 5,000 in the next three weeks with spectators having to show Covid passports.

The vaccination problem could also potentially affect European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup competitions with British and Irish clubs looking for early response from the authorities.

Champions Cup participants Munster (Ireland), Bath and Sale (England) and Scarlets (Wales) will play in France between 15 and 17 January – the first weekend of the vaccination mandate.

The Leicester Tigers, Connacht, Northampton Saints and Exeter Chiefs are ready to visit France the following weekend.

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