Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

France/Ireland clash called off

Ireland's RBS 6 Nations clash with France has been postponed due to the weather conditions in Paris.

The Stade de France passed an initial pitch inspection by referee Dave Pearson, only for the official to reverse his decision 10 minutes before the scheduled 2000 GMT kick off time.

Paris has been gripped by sub-zero temperatures with the Stade de France forecast to plummet to minus eight by half-time.

The decision was greeted with a chorus of boos when it was announced to a near-full Stade de France.

Six Nations officials have confirmed that the match would be staged during one of the tournament's break weekends, either February 18 and 19 or March 3 and 4.

Declan Kidney and Philippe Saint-Andre, the coaches of Ireland and France respectively, discussed the conditions on the pitch with Pearson half an hour before kick off.

Ireland coach Declan Kidney said he did not know when the match would now be played.

"That'll be up to the Six Nations (officials) outside," he said, speaking in the tunnel at the stadium. "I know they were on the phone already outside. I'm sure they're working on it as we speak."

Asked on BBC2 how his players had reacted, Kidney said: "You're joking me. How do you get that pumped up for a game (and then have it called off)?

"International rugby or any professional rugby isn't something whereby you just arrive and you go out for an old friendly jogaround. But they're great lads and they'll settle down. There's a good bit of banter in the dressing room at the moment."


From Belfast Telegraph