The Irish Rugby Union (IRFU) confirmed on Friday that the planned tour to Fiji cannot continue due to the uncertainty caused by a COVID outbreak.
The IRFU has been working closely with the Fiji Rugby Union and World Rugby for the past few months with planning at a very advanced stage, but unfortunately a recent COVID outbreak and subsequent lockdown in Fiji has increased the level of risk and it is no longer feasible to continue with the planned tour.
The IRFU will speak with other Unions about opportunities to organize alternative testing options for the July international window.
The IRFU Performance Director, David Nucifora , commented: “A lot of effort has gone into planning the Tour, which was based on a safety-first approach. Fiji up to this point had been relatively intact from the pandemic, but that landscape has changed rapidly and, sadly, it is no longer viable to continue the tour.
The rugby challenge in Fiji would have been formidable and would have exposed our players to the athleticism and skills that Fijians are famous for. It would have provided a significant development window for the national group considering they also missed a summer tour in 2020.
I would like to thank the Fiji Rugby Union, the Fiji government and World Rugby for their support over the past few months and I have no doubt that it would have been a fantastic and successful touring experience. We will continue to explore alternative agreements with our associated unions ”.
The Ireland’s head coach Andy FarrellHe added: “It is incredibly disappointing that we are now unable to tour Fiji. It would have been a tough rugby challenge against an excellent team from Fiji and a great opportunity for us to develop as a group and build on the progress made over the past year.
The tour is an invaluable experience in terms of what we learn about the group and that is why the IRFU worked tirelessly with Simon Raiwalui, the high performance general manager of Fiji Rugby to make the tour a reality and it is a shame that he can now. no, come in. We will look for alternative sources and we hope to have them well defined in the coming weeks ”.
The situation of Los Pumas
Like Ireland, Wales announced days ago that it will not travel to Argentina to face the tour that was planned, due to the coronavirus. In the statement, he reported that they were in talks so that Los Pumas could be local in the land of the Dragon. With the announcement of Clover and the cancellation of the trip to the Pacific island, will there also be a match between Pumas and Ireland in the Old Continent?