How rugby has been impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19)

How rugby has been impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19)

A number of games across multiple leagues have been impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The sporting calendar over the next few weeks looks extremely bare as events continue to be postponed or cancelled as a result of the threat of the coronavirus. All of Europe's top five football leagues have now been suspended, as the Bundesliga followed Serie A, LaLiga, Ligue 1 and the Premier League in calling a halt to proceedings. Golf's first major, the Masters, will not take place on April 9 as initially scheduled, while the Giro d'Italia, the final Six Nations match between Wales and Scotland, and marathons in London and Boston have all been affected by COVID-19, too.

With the number of confirmed cases worldwide now totalling over 140,000, we recap the impact by the outbreak on rugby across the world with a number of tournaments postponed and suspended. 

Unless otherwise stated, none of the games have new kick-off dates and times as of yet. Some of the fixtures will go ahead behind closed doors meaning that they will still be broadcasted but no fans will be able to attend the match. With regards to the Six Nations, the postponed fixtures are likely to take place in October later this year.


Six Nations

This is not the first time the Championship has had to wait until October for a winner to be confirmed. Back in 2001, just the second year of the Six Nations after Italy's inclusion, and the 107th international championship overall the tournament was affected by an outbreak of the highly infectious livestock disease foot and mouth in Britain.

As a consequence, there were restrictions on travel and Ireland's three fixtures against the home nations were postponed until September and October. England were the eventual winners but they again missed out on the Grand Slam at the final hurdle, losing to Ireland in the final match of the tournament in October.

R4: Ireland v Italy - Postponed (including women and u20s)

R4: Scotland v France Women - Postponed

R5: France and Ireland - Postponed (including women and u20s)

R5: Italy v England - Postponed  (including women and u20s)

R5: Wales v Scotland - Postponed 

R5: Wales v Scotland Women - Postponed 

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Less than 24 hours before kick-off, the last remaining #SixNations game of the weekend has been called off #WALvSCO

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PRO14 organisers have taken the ‘unprecedented’ decision to suspend the tournament indefinitely. Resumption of the 2019-20 season will now become a matter of constant review.

Also, all Irish club and schools rugby has been called off for the next 2 weeks (until April).

Premiership Rugby

Not impacted as of yet, however, the Premiership Rugby Cup Final has been postponed. 

TOP 14 & PROD2

The Top 14 and Pro D2 have officially been suspended. The suspension also includes all forms of collective training for Top 14 clubs. Champions Cup quarter-finals looking even less likely now. 

Super Rugby

Jaguares v Highlanders - to be played behind closed doors.

SANZAAR have confirmed that the 2020 Super Rugby season has been suspended following the announcement by the New Zealand Government that all returning travellers will have to self-isolate for 14 days, including Super Rugby players.

SANZAAR believes it has no option but to suspend the 2020 Super Rugby tournament at the conclusion of this weekend’s matches for the foreseeable future.

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Another league called off due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus ❌

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Greene King IPA Championship

Nottingham v Jersey Reds  - Postponed

London Scottish v Hartpury - Postponed

Ealing Trailfinders v Yorkshire Carnegie - Postponed

Rugby Europe Championship

Rugby Europe has announced a suspension of all its matches and tournaments from Friday, March 13th 2020 until April 15th, 2020.


Top League

Rounds 7 & 8 Postponed due to the virus.

Rounds 9 & 10 Postponed due to a player testing positive for cocaine. 

Junior Springboks

SA Rugby announced the cancellation of international events featuring the Junior Springboks, in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

An international series featuring the national Under-20 teams of Georgia and Argentina as well as the Junior Boks, set to take place in South Africa in April, has been cancelled as well as a planned tour by the team to the United Kingdom in May.


Decisions regarding the Incoming Series against Scotland and Georgia in July, as well as the SuperSport Rugby Challenge, which is scheduled to start at the end of April, will only be taken at a later stage.

Súper Liga Americana de Rugby

Following the announcement that games will be played behind closed doors, the American Rugby Super League has also been postponed. The Board of the American Rugby Super League decided to postpone all activity until further notice.

Global Rapid Rugby

Set to continue following the opening round on 14 March.

Sevens & World Rugby U20 Championship 2020

In a statement, World Rugby has confirmed that the men’s World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments in London and Paris will be postponed, provisionally until September, with the women’s edition of the tournament in Langford also postponed until later in the year.

Additionally, some Rugby World Cup 2021 and 2023 qualifying events have also been postponed, with the World Rugby U20 Championship 2020, scheduled to be hosted in northern Italy in late June and July, also not dodging cancellation.

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