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England are the current Six Nations Champions.

Massive change proposed for England and France in the Six Nations

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A massive proposed change is being considered, which would affect England and France's participation in the Six Nations tournament.

The plans, which are currently being evaluated by the RFU, would see a change to the tournament calendar, and would mean that the defending champions and France would start their fixtures a week after the other nations Scotland, Wales, Italy, and Ireland.

The Celtic countries, along with Italy, are opposed to the changes to the current schedule, which has seen all participants play over the first weekend since the tournament was upped to six teams in 2000.

Under the current proposed amendments, France and England would play their first fixtures on the second weekend, and the remaining games on the previously vacant third weekend.

England have stated their preferred solution would be to get all nations to commit to a six-week format of the fixtures, but the Celtic countries have objected to this as they feel this would give an advantage to the bigger nations.

They believe the two biggest nations would have greater ability to withstand the injuries incurred from the demands of a shortened format.

The Professional Game Board are currently considering proposals, and any put forward would have to consider the affect on the players having to go through a tighter and more demanding schedule.

England and Saracens No 8 Billy Vunipola has previously said that players were almost at the point of taking strike action due to the stresses on their wellbeing.

Ireland v England - RBS Six Nations

With the latest proposal meaning even less rest time for the English and French players, this is unlikely to be welcome news in the English and French camps.

With any potential changes not to be introduced until the 2020 tournament, it still seems unlikely that a solution that is accepted by all parties will be found in time.

Although there is an appetite for change to the current format, it remains to be seen whether any of the nations will relent in their demands.

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Topics:
Ireland Rugby
England Rugby
France Rugby
Six Nations
Wales Rugby
IRB Rugby World Cup
Scotland Rugby
Rugby Union
Italy Rugby

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