EPCR tournaments temporarily suspended

Rob Lloyd Featured

Scarlets won’t be playing RC Toulon and Bath this month after Heineken Champions Cup chiefs announced that the tournament is temporarily suspended.

We were due to travel to the south of France for Friday’s round three fixture followed by a home match against Bath on January 23 to complete the pool stages.

Here’s the statement issued by EPCR.

“Following a directive from the French authorities that the participation of TOP 14 clubs in the Heineken  Champions Cup and Challenge Cup at the current time constitutes too great a public health risk, EPCR  has no choice but to announce today (Monday, 11 January) that the 2020/21 tournaments are  temporarily suspended. 

“EPCR and the Ligue Nationale de Rugby took part in a meeting by audio conference last week with  representatives of the French ministries of the Interior, Health and Sport, as well as of the President’s  office. 

“Notable updates to EPCR’s COVID-19 protocols were presented to the French authorities, including  the addition of PCR tests no earlier than three days before matches in the tournaments, conforming  to French government guidelines and supplementing the existing, meticulous contact tracing  measures put in place with a view to limiting the risk of transmission.  

“Against the backdrop of the recent detection of a new strain of coronavirus, the French government  has directed that French clubs postpone their participation in EPCR’s tournaments for the month of  January, both for matches scheduled in France and for those due to be played in the United Kingdom  and Ireland.  

“On the basis of this directive, EPCR had no choice but to temporarily suspend the pool stage of the  Heineken Champions Cup and the preliminary stage of the Challenge Cup.  

“While respecting all further directives by governments and local authorities, and prioritising the health  and welfare of players and club staff, EPCR, in conjunction with its shareholder leagues and unions,  remains committed to trying to find a solution which will enable it to resume and complete the  tournaments as soon as practicable.  

“EPCR will be making no further comment at the present time.”