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Ireland v Italy which was scheduled to take place on March 7th has been postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Chief Executive of the IRFU Philip Browne confirmed the news on Wednesday afternoon. He stated the IRFU were acting on government advice. He said the organisation was perfectly happy to comply with it’s recommendations. The decision to postpone the game comes on the back of a meeting with Simon Harris. He stated it was the “right decision” in the interest of public health. Harris said the meeting was excellent. However he expressed some supporters will be disappointed that the game has been called off.
The IRFU released a statement confirming the news following a meeting with Simon Harris. The meeting was to request a formal instruction of the staging of Ireland v Italy games on the weekend of 6/8th of March. The statement continued, “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”. The IRFU said they were advised, formally, that The National Public Health Emergency team has determined that the series of matches should not proceed. This of course in the interests of Public Health.
The game is likely to be rescheduled as to when is still has to be decided. The statement said, “We will immediately begin to work with our Six Nations partners to look at the possibility of rescheduling the matches”. They said an update will be issued on this.
Personally, it is the right decision as public health is paramount. England play Wales that same weekend, while France meet Scotland at Murrayfield. There is several cases in France at present with some deaths. Whether this game will be postponed or not is another question but I suspect it will.