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France offer contracts to XVs squad

France are the latest union to announce professional contracts for the XVs squad

Without much fanfare, the French Federation’s Steering Committee announced yesterday that they will be offering professional contracts to 26 players from next season.

The decision follows the offer of paid contracts to all of the management staff after the Six Nations.

As with the sevens squad, the contracts will be part-time to allow players to continue to develop careers outside rugby – when sevens contracts were first announced a career (or full-time education) was even a requirement to join the squad.

There are no details about whether this will be the case with XVs contracts – or whether players with existing sevens contracts will also be eligible for XVs (France have been very successful at switching players between formats).

The Steering Committee also announced the dates and venues for France’s two Autumn Internationals against New Zealand, the first of which will be less than six days after the Fern’s match against the United States in Chicago:

  • Friday 9th November at Toulon
  • Saturday 17th November at Grenoble

Other Autumn Internationals for far confirmed are:

  • 2nd November: UK Armed Forces v South Africa
  • 3rd November: United States v New Zealand
  • 7th November: Wales v South Africa
  • 11th November: Crawshaws Welsh Barbarians v South Africa
  • 18th November: Ireland v United States
  • 27th November Wales v South Africa