Ireland and France Six Nations clash set to be postponed due to coronavirus

Ireland and France Six Nations clash set to be postponed due to coronavirus
Ireland's Peter O'Mahony charges down Antoine Dupont of France's in last year's Six Nations. Picture: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

THERE are reports coming out of France that Ireland's Six Nations clash this Saturday in Paris has been called off over the coronavirus.

The Midi Olympique is reporting that the tournament's committee has also decided to postpone Wales's Cardiff clash against Scotland that day, following telephone discussions between the Six Nations unions this morning.

The virus has already led to the postponement of Ireland's clash with Italy - with no date set yet for the re-fixture. Italy's game against England was also postponed earlier.

They have re-scheduled all the final weekend's Six Nation's fixtures for October 31.

The spread of Covid-19 in France has forced the government over the weekend to introduce more stringent public health measures. On Sunday afternoon, health officials said there were 1,126 confirmed cases in France, an increase of 177 in 24 hours. A total 19 people had died from the virus.

"We are still at stage 2, our priority is to do everything we can to slow down the circulation of the virus on national territory," Health Minister Olivier Véran said as he updated journalists on the latest figures and imposed stricter public health measures.

He said an earlier ban on gatherings of more than 5,000 people in confined spaces would be cut to 1,000 people. It was later confirmed that, as expected, the Champions League last-16 second-leg match between Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund this week will be played behind closed doors following a decision by the Paris police.

The Six Nations committee was in favour of postponing the remaining games rather than play them in front of empty stands, the French rugby paper said. It intends to reschedule all three final round games for the final weekend in October, a date already pencilled in for Italy v England.

Ireland's game against Italy would have to be played the weekend before, it suggested.

The prefect of Seine-Saint-Denis had issued a statement on Friday saying the game against Ireland would go ahead as scheduled, and was planning to disinfect Stade de France before the match, as well as impose 'maximum sanitary precautions' for fans.

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