Top 14 calendar gets French Rugby Federation green light

Bernard Laporte (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images)
Bernard Laporte (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images)

The 2020/21 Top 14 will kick off on 5 September, the French Rugby Federation (FFR) announced on Wednesday after unanimously accepting the calendar put forward by the body running professional rugby, the LNR.

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"The LNR and the FFR are working together to find the best solutions in a context of a calendar turned upside down by this health crisis," FFR president Bernard Laporte said.

After kicking off in the first week of September, the league will stage playoffs starting 12 June, with the final scheduled for the Stade de France on 26 June.

The second division ProD2 will run from 4 September - 6 June.

As for the European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, the finish to the 2019-20 season will be played in September and October, with the finals set for Marseille on 16-17 October.

The LNR calendar marks down five weekends for France international matches, corresponding to the 2021 Six Nations running from 6 February - 20 March.

The LNR and the FFR had been at a stalemate over the number of internationals to be held in autumn, which had blocked the validation of the Top 14 calendar.

No solution was offered Wednesday, but Top 14 clubs have said they are prepared to free up five dates on consecutive weekends, one less than the six requested by the FFR.

"These solutions can only exist in accordance with the international calendar decreed by World Rugby," Laporte said.

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