France could play rugby matches in UAE

Bernard Laporte (Gallo)
Bernard Laporte (Gallo)

Paris - France could play Test matches in the coming two seasons in the United Arab Emirates, French federation president Bernard Laporte said Saturday.

Talking after signing a memorandum of understanding with the UAE rugby federation, Laporte said staging France matches overseas would "help develop rugby in the UAE and the region".

Emirati federation general secretary Qais al-Dhalai, quoted by Gulf News, said: "A proper Test match between France and another big team like New Zealand or Australia is a big possibility in 2018 or perhaps in 2019.

"Of course, the UAE hosts the very popular Dubai Rugby Sevens each year, but we have never hosted a proper Test match.

"This would be a major sporting event as it would be the first time in the UAE history or any other country in this region to host a rugby Test match."

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