World Rugby on Thursday announced there would be a seven-week Test window from October to December, meaning that clubs will have to release players outside of the normal three-week November window under Regulation 9. It's bound to run into trouble.
World Rugby's "temporary Covid-19 calendar" might yet be stillborn because despite "extensive consultation with stakeholders" some have warned that they are not happy with such a long Test window.
Under Regulation 9 clubs are obliged to release their Test players for international duty. These windows are seldom longer than three weeks at a stretch.
But under World Rugby's new plan, in the northern hemisphere, the Six Nations will be completed between October 24 and 31. There will be one rest week followed by four Test weekends, finishing on 6 December.
In the southern hemisphere a condensed version of the Rugby Championship, which is usually held from August into early October, has been scheduled for 7 November to 12 December. New Zealand will host the entire tournament.
For French clubs, it would mean losing northern hemisphere players from 24 October to 7 December and southern hemisphere players such as Bok stars Cheslin Kolbe and Handre Pollard, from 1 November to 12...