The last two group days of the European Rugby Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup, scheduled for January, have been canceled and the competition will resume with playoffs, the executive director of the English Premier League announced on Thursday 14th.
These matches scheduled for the weekends of January 15 and 22 had already been postponed Monday, following the announcement by the French authorities that it was too dangerous for the teams of France to play against residents of the country, the Kingdom. -UI and Ireland, where the English variant of Covid-19 is spreading at high speed.
As explained by the head of Premiership Rugby, Darren Childs, the European body (European Professional Club Rugby), which organizes the European Cups, has decided since Monday to no longer search for dates for the matches of the last two days, the teams’ agenda is already very disrupted and the health context unpredictable.
The most likely option is for everything to start again, on a date as yet unknown, with the round of 16 with, for each event, the 16 best clubs at the start of the group stage.
There are no free dates at the end of the season either as the British and Irish Lions are expected to tour South Africa, also said Darren Childs, for whom it would be “Very damaging for European tournaments to play matches in the absence of the Lions”.
In the European Cup, Stade Toulouse had to face defending champion Exeter in England, before hosting the Irish province of Ulster. Same story for Clermont (Munster, Bristol), Lyon (Glasgow Warriors, Gloucester) or Racing 92 (Harlequins, Connacht).