Players to form a circle before Pro14 matches in anti-racism stance

At each game a moment’s silence will mark the loss of life due to Covid-19 pandemic

Irish rugby returns this weekend when Leinster host Munster at the Aviva Stadium. File photograph: Inpho

Irish rugby returns this weekend when Leinster host Munster at the Aviva Stadium. File photograph: Inpho

 

The Pro14 resumes after a five-month absence because of coronavirus on Friday night when Benetton’s clash with Zebre launches two rounds of national derbies.

The competition’s organisers announced earlier on Friday a ‘Unity Moment’ will be observed before each kick-off to demonstrate that rugby stands united against racism. It will follow a moment’s silence to mark the loss of life suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic and to honour those who have worked on the frontline.

“This ‘Unity Moment’ will be observed to demonstrate that rugby stands united against racism and to emphasise the game’s core values of solidarity and respect,” they explained in a statement.

“Players will stand in a circular formation and during this time they are free to express themselves in a manner they deem appropriate. This will underline the message of rugby against racism across the territories that encompass the Pro14.”

An abbreviated competition will continue over four successive weekends with rounds 14 and 15 taking place before the semi-finals and final are staged.

Neither Benetton nor Zebre can reach the knockout phase as they launch the weekend’s action in Treviso.

The two South African sides — the Cheetahs and Southern Kings — have yet to a date set for their matches because of the Covid-19 outlook in their country.

Leinster’s 13 wins ensure they will progress to the semi-finals as Conference A winners and they will look to extend their unblemished record when they host Munster in Dublin on Saturday.

Munster and Edinburgh are favourites to progress from a more competitive Conference B, although the Scarlets have an outside chance of advancing.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.