Postponed France v Ireland Six Nations game set for 4 March

The postponed Six Nations game between France and Ireland has been rescheduled for Sunday, 4 March (1500 GMT).

Last Saturday, referee Dave Pearson had to abandon the original meeting 10 minutes before kick-off because the frozen pitch was considered dangerous.

The game will now be played in Paris on what is the only free weekend before the end of this year's championship.

However, it means Ireland and France have to play Six Nations games on four successive weekends.

The Irish Rugby Football Union have expressed disappointment with the decision.

They say they would have preferred the game to be played on Saturday 3 March to allow for a longer period of recovery between matches and provide supporters with an appropriate window of travel.

French officials had earlier said they wanted the match to be put off until next season to avoid disruption to the Top 14 competition.

Saturday's match was postponed amid chaotic scenes, with spectators having taken their seats at the Stade de France only to learn of the 11th-hour call-off.

Referee Pearson received the backing of the International Rugby Board, which defended his reversal of a pitch inspection conducted around 90 minutes earlier.

"Player welfare and safety is the primary concern for the IRB and its match officials," read the statement.

"Having witnessed and assessed the rapid deterioration of the playing surface between the final pitch inspection and the scheduled kick-off time, and following consultation with the match official team, both coaches and championship organisers, Pearson deemed the pitch unplayable on player welfare grounds."

Declan Kidney and Philippe Saint-Andre, the respective coaches of Ireland and France, accepted Pearson's verdict despite the enormous disruption it would cause to their championship.

Fans have been told they can get a refund on their tickets if they cannot attend on the new date.