Ireland’s under-20 and women’s matches against France postponed
No new dates have been agreed for rescheduled Six Nations fixtures
The Irish 20s were due to fly to the south of France on Wednesday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Six Nations Rugby confirmed on Tuesday that the Under-20 and Women’s internationals between France and Ireland scheduled for this weekend will not go ahead and this follows on from Monday’s announcement to postpone the senior match between the countries which was due to take place at the Stade de France on Saturday night.
Noel McNamara’s unbeaten Irish 20s were due to face their French counterparts at the Stade Aime Giral in Perpignan on Friday night. They trained at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown this morning but were then informed, as expected, that the game would not go ahead.
Adam Griggs was due to take the Irish Women’s team to Lille this weekend but that match too has been postponed, once again on the recommendation of the French government. Six Nations Rugby confirmed in a statement that no new dates have been agreed as of now in trying to reschedule all three fixtures.
It read: “Further to yesterday’s press release announcing the postponement of the Six Nations match between France and Ireland, Six Nations can now confirm that the Women and Under-20 matches between the two countries have also been postponed.
“The Wales versus Scotland Six Nations and Under-20 matches will go ahead as scheduled. Discussions with unions and federations are ongoing as it is of the utmost importance to find suitable dates for rescheduled matches while respecting the values and integrity of our Championship.”
Meanwhile Munster’ Guinness Pro14 Round 15 fixture against Benetton that was due to take place in Musgrave Park on Friday March 27th, has been postponed. Tickets purchased for the fixture will remain valid for any rescheduled date.
Pro14 rugby also confirmed that all Round 14 and 15 matches involving Benetton and Zebre have been postponed due to restrictions enforced by the Italian government that will prevent the teams from travelling to the country because of the coronavirus.
Six fixtures involving the Italian clubs now require alternative dates as authorities in Italy take action to combat the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. No unnecessary travel is permitted in or out of the Lombardy region and 14 other provinces, which include the cities of Treviso and Parma. These restrictions are in place until Friday, April 3rd.
Pro14 rugby are trying to reschedule fixtures for April and May but have previously indicated that a failure to do so will result in the matches in question being designated as a 0-0 draw.
The French Top 14 league is also set to be affected following discussion between the French Sports Minister and league officials. Reports in France suggest that “Some (club) presidents are in favour of postponing the games, while others will want to play the games behind closed doors.”
There is a suggestion that clubs with less financial clout would prefer to postpone fixtures rather than losing match revenue in excess of €100,000 per game. A decision as to the way forward for the Top 14 is expected on Wednesday.
Pro14 postponed fixtures
R13: Zebre Rugby Club v Ospreys Rugby; Benetton Rugby v Ulster Rugby
R14: Cardiff Blues v Zebre Rugby Club; Benetton Rugby v Munster Rugby
R15: Munster Rugby v Benetton Rugby; Zebre Rugby Club v Connacht Rugby