The IRFU have confirmed this afternoon that all fixtures set to take place between Ireland and Italy next weekend have been postponed.
These include the men’s, women’s and U20 Six Nations fixtures which were due to take place across the weekend of the 6/7/8th March.
The National Public Health Emergency team has determined that due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in northern Italy, the Six Nations matches involving Ireland and Italy next weekend should not go ahead in the interests of public health.
The IRFU have released the following statement:
“The IRFU had a positive meeting with Minister Harris and his advisors today, where we requested a formal instruction as to the staging of the Ireland v Italy international matches over the weekend of 6/8 March.
“At the outset, we made it clear that the IRFU was supportive of the Governments’ need to protect public health in relation to the Coronavirus.
“We were then advised, formally, that The National Public Health Emergency team has determined that the series of matches should not proceed, in the interests of Public Health.
“The IRFU is happy to comply with this instruction.
“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.”
IRFU chief executive Philip Browne released the statement to the media in Dublin this afternoon.
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.
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Minister for Health Simon Harris recommended last night that the match be postponed which led to the meeting between government officials and the IRFU today.
More to follow…