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PRO14 anticipate interruption to league due to spread of coronavirus


The PRO14 have confirmed that any matches cancelled as part of measures to restrict the spread of coronavirus will be recognised as a 0-0 draw.

Fixtures involving Italian member clubs Benetton and Zebre have become a cause for concern with authorities in the country currently dealing with over 400 cases of the virus, more than 40 times what the UK is dealing with.

Earlier this week, match organisers decided to postpone two of this weekend’s fixtures set to be held in northern Italy, where the outbreak has occurred.

The Ospreys trip to face Zebre and Ulster’s match against Benetton have been called off, while Scotland’s match last weekend in Italy was also postponed.

A PRO14 statement confirmed: “In response to the uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, PRO14 Rugby has initiated a number of measures to meet the challenge this poses to Guinness PRO14 fixtures.

“Since last weekend, detailed scenario-planning has been on-going and it is paramount that the well-being and health of teams, their supporters, staff and match officials are not compromised.”

Each national union which has teams participating in the PRO14 – WRU, SRU, IRFU, FIR and SARU – are having their chief medical officers stay in contact with government authorities to judge the appropriate steps to take.

No inter-Europe travel ban has been imposed by a country as yet, but the UK Foreign Office is advising against ‘all but essential travel’ to China which accounts for a quarter of coronavirus cases world wide.

Authorities in Italy have confirmed 17 people have died after contracting the virus, while Wales had its first case diagnosed on Friday to take the UK total to 19.

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