The EPCR have confirmed that this season’s Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals have been postponed.
The news comes as no surprise and was expected following the ongoing spread of COVID-19 which continues to spread across the globe.
The organisation confirmed that the decision was made following a conference call today and that the eight games will be postponed with the entire European club rugby season set to be suspended.
The EPCR has said its priority is the health and welfare of players and club staff.
Leinster, who were heavy favourites to lift a fifth crown in May, were due to face current title holders Saracens at the Aviva Stadium on April, 1 while Ulster were due to travel to France and face Toulouse the following day.
A statement from the EPCR can be read in full below:
“The Board of European Professional Club Rugby has decided that this season’s Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup quarter-final matches will not now be played on the scheduled dates of 3/4/5 April.
“Amid growing public health concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was taken during a conference call today (Monday, 16 March) to postpone the eight matches on the weekend in question and to suspend the European club rugby season.
“While respecting all further directives by governments and local authorities, EPCR, in conjunction with the relevant leagues and unions, remains committed to trying to find a solution which will enable it to complete the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournaments at such a time as that aligns with preventative measures undertaken by an overwhelming majority of sport’s governing bodies and tournament organisers in Europe.
“EPCR’s priority is the health and welfare of players and club staff, and an update regarding the knockout stages of the tournaments will be communicated to all stakeholders as soon as practicable.”