IRFU confirm cancellation of Italian matches
In the last half-hour, the IRFU have released a statement confirming that the Six Nations fixture scheduled for the Aviva Stadium on Saturday 7th March will not now go ahead. The U20’s & Women’s fixtures against the Italians fixed for the same weekend will also be postponed.
Ireland’s @SixNationsRugby matches v Italy are off.
We will immediately begin to work with our Six Nations partners to look at the possibility of rescheduling the matches and would hope to have an update on this in the coming days.https://t.co/80ByyvOd3E
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) February 26, 2020
The Postponements come after the IRFU met with Minister for Health Simon Harris. An estimated 5,000 rugby fans were expected to travel to Dublin for the fixtures. Many of those fans would be expected to travel from the rugby strongholds of Parma & Treviso in the northeast of Italy. The Covid-19 or Coronavirus has spread rapidly in this region of Italy in recent days. At the time of writing 12 people are know to have died from the virus. Sporting fixtures have been cancelled. Schools, museum and cinemas have been shut in the affected regions in order to halt the spread of the virus.
The IRFU has also tweeted that “Issues regarding rescheduling, tickets and other issues will be determined following discussion with Six Nations Rugby”. They hope to have more details of rescheduling of all three fixtures in the coming days.
Anthony Eddy’s u20’s were scheduled to play their Italian counterparts on Friday 6th March in Cork. His side are on track for a second consecutive grand slam after an impressive 21-39 win over England in Northampton last Friday night. The Women’s team were hoping to bounce back from their 27-0 defeat to England last weekend in their Sunday afternoon game against the Italian ladies in Donnybrook.