The Covid-19 outbreak in Europe, especially in England, is beginning to have its repercussions in sports and specifically in rugby. This weekend the 2nd date of the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup and the entity that organizes the tournament, European Professional club Rugby (ERPC), decided to suspend all scheduled matches between English and French teams.
They are: Bath – La Rochelle, Sale Sharks – Clermont, Scarlets – Bordeuax, Toulouse – Wasps and Stade Francais – Bristol Bears for the Champions and Worcester Warriors – Biarritz and London Irish – Brive for the Challenge.
In a release after the conclave of managers at noon in Europe, the ERPC stated that “after a meeting of the EPCR Board of Directors today (Friday 17 December), it was decided that, due to the current exceptional circumstances, EPCR Champions Cup Round 2 and Challenge Cup matches between French and British clubs, scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday are postponed”.
In their letter to the media, the Europeans argued that “this is a consequence of the new travel measures between the UK and France that the French government is introducing.”
“The Board received reports from the three professional leagues that included updated information from the respective governments, however, there were insufficient guarantees that these parties would not be at risk. Therefore, the intention is to reschedule the matches for a later date”.
The wave of cancellations in the Champions Cup began on Thursday with the match that Leinster and Montpellier had to keep due to the positive cases in the Irish team. It was followed this Friday by the meeting between Ospreys and Racing 92, this time due to infections in the Welsh squad. For its part, in the Challenge Cup the crash in Pau and Saracens also had to be suspended.
Bath Rugby – Stade Rochelais
Sale Sharks – ASM Clermont Auvergne
Scarlets – Union Bordeaux-Bègles
Stade Toulousain – Wasps
Stade Francais Paris v Bristol Bears
Worcester Warriors – Biarritz Olympique
London Irish – CA Brive