The European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), responsible for organizing the two European Cups in the discipline, announced, Monday, January 11, a “Temporary suspension” of the group stage of the competitions. The third and fourth days were to take place on the weekends of January 15 and 22, but the choice of the French government to ask for the postponement of the Franco-British meetings “At least until the beginning of February”, communicated to clubs in the middle of the day to limit the circulation of the variant of SARS-CoV-2 observed in the United Kingdom, precipitated the decision of the organizers.
“The government wishes in fact primarily to fight against all the risks of introduction” more contagious variants of the virus and their “Circulation on the territory”, specifies the letter sent by the French government to the National Rugby League (LNR) to ask the Top 14 rugby clubs “To postpone their participation in European Cup matches”. A meeting regarding the 2021 Six Nations Tournament, which is supposed to begin on February 6, will be held Tuesday morning at the sports ministry, about the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The third and fourth days of the two continental competitions, the European Cup and the European Challenge, are therefore effectively postponed. “Both for matches organized in France and those held on British and Irish soil”. Lyon was to receive the Scots from Glasgow, while Toulouse was to go to England to face Exeter, the defending champions. Clermont was to face the Irish from Munster; Racing 92, the Harlequins.