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2021 Six Nations could be delayed to allow crowds

A delay is “one of the options” on the table.

The 2021 instalment of the Six Nations might be delayed in an effort to hopefully allow crowds to attend the matches.

At present, the tournament is scheduled to begin in February but that might change.

In terms of the financial details, it’s reported that England’s Rugby Football Union has projected a £138m loss should fans not be allowed in stadiums, and the other competing nations have similar concerns.

Six Nations chief executive Ben Morel told The Times that moving next year’s tournament to allow fans to attend was a consideration.

Six Nations 2021

“We have to look at everything right now. We need fans back. We are not about to announce that we are doing this, but it is one of the options that is there,” he said.

Morel adds: “It is not straightforward and there would be no guarantee that you’d get a better situation. I wish that moving the Six Nations would solve all this, but you cannot say that. We have to look at everything right now,” he said. “We need fans back. I wish that moving the Six Nations would solve all this, but you cannot say that.”

The interview has led the Six Nations organisers to clarify their position and they’ve said that no formal discussions have taken place about moving the competition from its February 6 start date.

Six Nations 2021

A Six Nations statement read: “There have been no formal discussions to move the 2021 Guinness Six Nations Championship and at this point, all our focus is on completing the remaining fixtures from the 2020 Championship.

“As is the case for many sports, a key priority for rugby stakeholders is the return of fans to stadia and we are working with all relevant authorities and governing bodies to find a suitable and safe solution to achieve this.”

Ireland will take on Italy in round four on October 24 before the final round of fixtures are completed seven days later.

Those tests will be behind closed doors, as will the Autumn Nations Cup – a new eight-team tournament that replaces the traditional Autumn Tests.

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