Leinster 'disappointed' following decision to call off Montpellier game over Covid cases

Montpellier Hérault Rugby have been awarded the match on a score of 28-0, with five match points in accordance with the tournament rules.
Leinster 'disappointed' following decision to call off Montpellier game over Covid cases

Kenneth Fox

Leinster's Champions Cup game vs Montpellier at the GGL Stadium has been cancelled due to further positive Covid-19 cases in the Leinster camp.

After a meeting of an independent Match Risk Assessment Committee, the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) were informed that the match could not go ahead safely.

They said the game is cancelled with Montpellier Hérault Rugby being awarded the match on a score of 28-0 as well as five match points in accordance with the tournament rules.

The Committee advised the EPCR of their concern after new positive Covid-19 test results in the Leinster camp. Due to the new cases Montpellier were awarded the win automatically.

The governing body said they wanted to emphasise that "awarding the match to Montpellier is a tournament management measure with the objective of ensuring that all fixtures in the 2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup are accounted for, and not a sanction."

Following the decision, Leinster issued a statement in which they sought to clarify that they were in a position to play the game.

“Leinster Rugby team management has expressed its disappointment with EPCR over the decision to award a 28-0 win in Montpellier’s favour,” the statement said.

“The Leinster Rugby squad and staff have had five rounds of Antigen tests and four rounds of PCR tests in the last six days and a group of players and staff who have all come through each stage of those tests, had been selected to represent the club in France and arrangements made accordingly.”

“As a result of these test results and the measures implemented by Leinster Rugby, a letter was issued today, Thursday, 16th December 2021, to Leinster Rugby from Public Health Ireland confirming that the group could travel to France for the game.

“At all times Leinster Rugby has complied with all measures and protocols required of the club by EPCR, and by the HSE, and will continue to do so.

“While we are disappointed with the outcome of today’s decision by EPCR, our focus now is the health and well-being of all our players and staff, and we would like to put on record, as a club, our sincere thanks to Prof. John Ryan and all the medical team supporting those players and staff.”

The cancellation comes after Scarlets forfeited their round-one match at Bristol having been forced to quarantine on their return from their abandoned trip to South Africa.

Saracens this week also forfeited their Challenge Cup game with Pau after admitting it was unable to field a matchday squad due a Covid outbreak.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more