The IRFU have issued a statement in response to Minister of Health Simon Harris’ comments this evening whereby he recommended that Ireland’s clash with Italy in the Six Nations be postponed.
Harris was speaking after the Department of Health and the National Public Health Emergency Team made a recommendation that the Six Nations fixture due to take place in Dublin on Saturday week should be postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in Italy.
The game’s governing body in Ireland have issued a statement tonight where they outline their intention to seek an urgent meeting with Harris to discuss the matter.
“The IRFU is seeking an urgent meeting with Minister Harris as to the specific reasoning behind calling for the cancellation of the Ireland v Italy Six Nations fixture in the context of the Government’s overall travel policy to and from Italy and other affected countries,” an IRFU statement read.
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“Until such time as the IRFU has had contact with the Minister and gets an understanding of the government’s strategic policy on travel to and from Ireland and the cancellation of mass gatherings, it is not in a position to comment further.”
The Six Nations have also released a statement:
“Six Nations is aware of today’s recommendation from the Irish Health Minister in relation to the upcoming Six Nations Championship match between Ireland and Italy on Saturday March 7th.
“The IRFU has sought an urgent meeting with the Irish Government to discuss the matter further and we will remain in close contact with them regarding the outcome of those discussions.”
The coronavirus, which originated in the Wuhan region of China, has spread to Europe and especially Italy where 283 cases of the virus have been detected which has led to the deaths of seven people.
Last weekend, the women’s Six Nations clash between Italy and Scotland was cancelled in addition to two Guinness PRO14 clashes which are due to take place this weekend; Zebre v Ospreys and Benetton v Ulster.