Ireland women see final Six Nations clash with France cancelled

Three remaining fixtures of 2020 tournament have been officially called off

Ireland’s final Six Nations fixture against France hasbeen cancelled. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Ireland’s final Six Nations fixture against France hasbeen cancelled. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

The remaining fixtures of the 2020 Women’s Six Nations have been cancelled, it was confirmed on Tuesday morning.

Ireland had one match left to play in the Championship against France, which had originally been rescheduled for November 1st but was postponed further due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the French camp.

And that fixture will now not take place, with Scotland’s two outstanding fixtures against Wales and Italy also called off.

A Six Nations statement read: “Recent Government and Health Authority restrictions affecting squad preparations, travel, and the inability to stage matches due to the sport’s amateur status have made the successful completion of the 2020 Championship impossible.”

Meanwhile Ben Morel, chief executive of Six Nations Rugby, said: “This was an extremely tough decision that was only taken after we had explored every possible option to get these matches played. It is especially disappointing that these cancellations come at a time when there is such positive momentum around the women’s game and for the Women’s Six Nations in particular.

“We will now, with our Unions, put our focus and energy toward the 2021 Championship.”

The table for the 2020 Championship will remain as it currently stands, with Ireland in third place - level on points with France but well behind Grand Slam winners England.

Ireland had already seen December’s Women’s Rugby World Cup Qualifying tournament postponed to 2021, and IRFU Director of Women’s Rugby Anthony Eddy has alluded to the difficulties the side have faced during the pandemic.

He said: “Covid-19 has been disruptive for so many people, and from the start of the pandemic we set out to be flexible and dynamic in our response to ever changing circumstances.

“The squad has been positive through all of this and will continue to work hard to improve. We have been focusing on the qualifiers for well over a year now and that will not change. The group achieved three home Six Nations wins in 2020 which is an excellent outcome, and this additional time will allow more preparation in qualifying for the 2021 World Cup.

“The squad has a busy schedule and our plan will slightly change - they will regroup and competition for spots will intensify as we all focus on preparation for 2021.”

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