PRO14 season suspended over coronavirus

PRO14 season suspended over coronavirus

PRO14 bosses have issued a statement confirming the indefinite suspension of the PRO14 season following the escalating coronavirus outbreak.

 


 

There was already disruption involving the Italian teams, with Ospreys' trip to Zebre and Ulster's game at Benetton both postponed on 29 February.

Resuming the season will be under constant review, but no end date to the suspension can be provided at this moment in time.


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A statement from the organisers reads: “The PRO14 is an international league.

“Cross border travel is inevitable and that brings with it unique challenges.

“With governments in Italy and Ireland already putting in place clear directives and restrictions around public activities and travel, the decision to suspend the competition is appropriate.

“It is in the best interests of everyone that games are not played at this time.

“The suspension has been directed by the board of Celtic Rugby DAC and will be remain under constant review.

 

“Resumption of the 2019/20 season will now become a matter of constant review.

“To this point PRO14 Rugby has ensured that it has the latest information and guidance made available by the local and national authorities via our participating unions in the UK, Ireland, Italy and South Africa.

“This will remain the case for the duration of the suspension. This is an unprecedented action for the tournament and as such no end date to the suspension can be provided at this time.”

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Tournament director David Jordan said: “We have made this decision with everyone’s welfare foremost in our minds.

“With an evolving situation in the five countries that take part in Guinness PRO14 it is important to make a clear decision that is in keeping with the advice of the various governments involved.”

Unbeaten Leinster are top of Conference A, with Edinburgh leading Conference B.

With travel restricted across the whole of Italy, Zebre were not allowed to travel to face to Cardiff Blues on 21 March, and Benetton were unable to go to Munster the following week.

Benetton had been given permission to travel to Newport on 6 March to take on Dragons after giving assurances none of their players or staff had been in contact with anyone suffering from the illness.

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