IRFU and Italian Federation agree to move final match from Parma to Donnybrook
Change of country for Six Nations match must be approved by the Irish government
Energia Park is expected to be confirmed as the new venue for Saturday’s final match of the Six Nations between Ireland and Italy. Photograph: Inpho
The IRFU and Italian Federation have agreed to switch Saturday’s final match of the Six Nations from Parma to Donnybrook, with a 12pm kick-off, once the change of country is approved by the Irish government.
After the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly stated last Thursday that national governing bodies need to “put in place equivalent situations” to 10 days of hotel quarantining for elite athletes returning to Ireland from international events, the amateur women’s squad would be severely depleted if faced with such measures as several key players must return to work in teaching and nursing.
The French Federation agreed to give up home advantage last year to face Ireland, due to a similar situation, but the fixture was eventually cancelled because of a covid outbreak.
All going well, Energia Park is expected to be confirmed as the new venue. Both squads must also complete two rounds of negative PCR test results before the game can go ahead.
The alternative situation is Ireland travel to Italy without some of their best players for the play-off to finish third in the championship. The cost of quarantining athletes must be covered by the governing body.