France-Ireland, the last meeting of the Six Nations Tournament, scheduled for Saturday March 14 at 9 p.m. at the Stade de France, has been postponed due to the epidemic of coronavirus which is raging in Europe and will probably be rescheduled in the fall. “On instructions from the French authorities, the decision was made to postpone the Six Nations match between France and Ireland”, explained the organizer of the tournament, adding that no decision has yet been taken concerning meetings of women and those under 20.
However, the other meeting between Wales and Scotland is maintained. It will also be the only one of this last day to take place, since the postponement of Italy-England was already recorded. Before these cancellations two meetings had already been postponed: Ireland-Italy which was to be played on March 7 in Dublin and therefore Italy-England, scheduled for March 14.
The French Rugby Federation (FFR) “took note of the decision […] aware of the constraints and disappointment caused by this postponement but can only support a decision taken in the interest of everyone’s health. Before addressing the ticket holders: “The FFR therefore invites all spectators to keep their match tickets. This same ticket will remain valid and allow access to the meeting when it is played at a later date to be communicated by the Six Nations Committee. “
The XV of France, beaten this Sunday at Murrayfield by Scotland (28-17), his first defeat in the competition, is still in the running for a victory in the Tournament. England and Ireland can also hope to win.
“Compared to the challenges we still have, replaying immediately against Ireland would be a blessing,” said coach Fabien Galthié Monday morning at a press conference, before learning the postponement of the meeting.
The French government decided this Sunday evening to ban all events hosting more than 1,000 people on the territory because of the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.
It is not the first time that the running of the Six Nations Tournament has been disrupted by the development of epidemics or epizootics. In 2001, the episode of foot-and-mouth disease decimating cattle in the British Isles forced Ireland to postpone three of its matches in Wales, Scotland and the reception of England.