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Northampton Saints out of Heineken Champions Cup after Racing 92 match called off


Northampton Saints have missed out on the knock out stages of the Heineken Champions Cup, after their game against Racing 92 was cancelled.

Although Northampton had lost their opening three games of the Champions Cup, they were still in with a chance of qualifying for the last 16, if they managed to secure an unlikely victory against Racing 92 in Paris.

The Saints won’t have the opportunity to pull off an upset victory however, after it was decided that it was not safe for the game to go ahead, as the English club recorded a number of positive Covid-19 cases in their squad.

Northampton forfeit game against Racing 92.

As a result, Racing 92 have been awarded a 28-0 bonus point victory, as Northampton were unable to fulfil the fixture.

As things stand, Northampton are in 11th place in Pool A, which would see them qualify for the knock out stages of the EPCR Challenge Cup, along with the ninth, 10th and 11th placed teams in both pools in the Champions Cup.

Racing 92 will finish on top of Pool A with 19 points, unless Ulster claim a bonus-point win against Clermont Auvergne while beating the French side by 88 points or more.

Three round four fixtures have now been called off.

Northampton aren’t the only side to have had to forfeit their Champions Cup game in round four, as Toulouse and Bordeaux Begles were also deemed unable to fulfil their fixtures.

Toulouse are particularly unhappy, as they had named a match-day squad to face Cardiff, but the EPCR decided that the club had recorded too many positive Covid-19 cases in their squad for the game to safely go ahead.

Neither Toulouse or the Ligue Nationale de Rugby agree with the EPCR’s decision, with the latter threatening to take legal action on behalf of the reigning European and French champions.

Although they are far from happy, Toulouse’ progression to the last 16 of the Champions Cup was all but confirmed last night, following Castres’ last-gasp loss to Harlequins.

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