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Leo Cullen says there are bigger concerns than rugby after SA Covid news

Leinster boss Leo Cullen has underlined that there are bigger things in life than rugby as Munster, Zebre, Cardiff and Scarlets all attempt to get out of South Africa as soon as possible due to the country’s struggles with a new Covid variant.

The teams are hoping to leave South Africa today after United Rugby Championship’s South African games for rounds six and seven were postponed.

The four South African sides in the competition have yet to play a home game in their new competition and the upcoming rounds of rugby were set to correct that.

Leinster are not due to travel to South Africa until later this season and instead have two interprovincial clashes to look forward to against Ulster and Connacht.

However, Head Coach Cullen acknowledged the situation in Friday’s pre-match press conference.

“It’s not great news, our thoughts are with the people trying to get themselves out of there, hopefully, that’ll all play out over the next couple of days,” Cullen said.

“Presumably there’ll be some sort of plan put in place to reschedule the games, at least there are plenty of free weekends during the Six Nations from a logistics point of view, so we’ll see how it plays out.”

Most teams in the competition currently face a 10-week-long stretch of games before the next international break.

Cullen said that he has not been made aware of any contingency plans in place regarding situations such as these, other than the previous talk of the South African ‘home’ games being held in Italy.

The URC organisers now face a scheduling headache as they scramble to fit the postponed fixtures into the season.

“There are bigger concerns than rugby matches I’m sure. We’ll see how it plays out but from our point of view we’re playing two interprovincial derbies in the next two weekends and then we’re into Europe so nothing changes drastically from our point of view.”

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