Today began with completely ridiculous suggestions by the FFR that the France vs. Ireland game should be put back until September in order to avoid any clash with Top 14 fixtures . Thankfully, some sort of common sense has prevailed and the Six Nations match has been rescheduled for the 4th of March, with a kick-off time of 3.00pm Irish time.
This is the weekend we had anticipated and the one that makes most sense, although it does give both teams the difficult task of 4 games in a row. Wales are the team who will probably benefit most from this entire fiasco. They will now hope to welcome a tired French side to the Millenium Stadium on Paddy’s Day with a Grand Slam on the line.
The IRFU have greeted the Six Nations Council’s decision with disappointment. Their preference was that the game go ahead on March 3rd, in order to give the Irish team a seven day turnaround in between each of the remaining four fixtures. Also, a Saturday match would have presumably made it easier for travelling fans.
The Six Nations Council has also stated that any fans who are unable to travel to France again for the rescheduled fixture will receive a full refund for their tickets. Hopefully, this will be some sort of consolation to the thousands of disgruntled supporters who made the original trek over. Once again, the hope is that the Six Nations Council will never let something like this happen again.
As mentioned before, four games in a row will represent a big challenge for Declan Kidney and his squad. But that is what faces them now and they must prepare for that task. The immediate focus is Italy in just under two weeks’ time. Judging on their opening games, this is a physical Italian side who lack invention and an outhalf. Ireland have enough quality to get a win on the board before travelling back to France. For now, they have to forget about the French.