The French rugby federation are considering special contracts to lighten the demands on a number of France internationals as they prepare for the 2007 World Cup.
The contracts, which would involve the federation becoming responsible for paying a portion of players' wages, concern older players such as 32-year-old captain Fabien Pelous, whose deal with Stade Toulousain ends next year.
Stade Francais' Pieter De Villiers (33), Sylvain Marconnet (29) and Remy Martin (26), Bourgoin's Olivier Milloud (29), Pascal Pape (25) and Julien Bonnaire (27), as well as Sale's Sebastien Bruno (31) and Biarritz's Jerome Thion (27) could also be subjected to the new status.
The project will be debated on Thursday between the federation, the league, club presidents and players' unions.
"The idea is to put everything in place so that the players can be as efficient as possible at the World Cup," said national team coach Bernard Laporte.
France have emerged as serious contenders to win the 2006 RBS 6 Nations and, in the longer term, the 2007 World Cup, after winning all of their November Test matches, against Australia (26-16), Canada (50-6), Tonga (43-8) and, most notably, South Africa (26-20) at the Stade de France last Saturday.