Dublin – Eire coach Andy Farrell has stated his squad are persevering with with preparations to play France after their Six Nations fixture at house to Italy fell sufferer to issues over the coronavirus.
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The match between Eire and Italy at Dublin’s Lansdowne Highway has been postponed on public well being grounds and Six Nations chiefs are set to fulfill in Paris on Monday to resolve if different fixtures on this season’s Championship will should be placed on maintain because of the worldwide unfold of COVID-19.
England’s deliberate Six Nations finale in Rome on March 14 may very well be below risk given the virus’ proliferation in northern Italy however Farrell added there have been no ensures that Eire’s match in opposition to unbeaten France in Paris on the identical day would go forward.
“We do not know. That is the reply – we do not know,” Farrell advised reporters at a Dublin press convention on Friday.
“All we will do is put together correctly as if the sport goes forward,” added Farrell, whose facet stay in title rivalry regardless of seeing their Grand Slam hopes disappear with a 24-12 loss away to England, captained by his son, Owen Farrell, final trip.
“We have been in for a number of days this week and that was the traditional preparation that we have been going to have anyway.”
Eire captain Johnny Sexton added: “There’s nothing worse than an extended wait now, however it’s what it’s…We have got to take a look at the positives, that we will have a little bit of time and develop some issues collectively now.
“We simply would have most well-liked if it was simply two weeks (between matches), nevertheless it’s not, it is three and that is the underside line and we have simply received to recover from it,” the star flyhalf added.
Rescheduling the Italy match is troublesome given the shortage of house in rugby union’s crowded fixture schedule.
However with the window for incomes rating factors for the draw of the 2023 World Cup in France closing in November, Eire will wish to play an Italy facet which have misplaced their final 25 Six Nations matches slightly than see the sport cancelled utterly.
There may be additionally the choice to play matches behind closed doorways.
“There’s a number of dates being bounced about however they’re simply concepts at this time limit, so we have not received a clue actually,” Farrell stated.
“We clearly wish to play the sport…We’re dissatisfied nevertheless it’s the best resolution. There are extra vital issues than a sport of rugby.”