Covid-19 pandemic suspends Guinness PRO14

The cur­rent Guin­ness PRO14 sea­son has been sus­pend­ed because of the devel­op­ing COVID-19 flare-up, organ­is­ers declared on Thurs­day.

“The PRO14 is an inter­na­tion­al league. Cross bor­der trav­el is unavoid­able, and that brings with it unique chal­lenges. With gov­ern­ments in Italy and Ire­land pre­vi­ous­ly set­ting up explic­it orders and lim­i­ta­tions around pub­lic activ­i­ties and trav­el, the deci­sion to sus­pend the com­pe­ti­tion is prop­er,” said the state­ment fol­low­ing Celtic Rug­by DAC board meet­ing.

“It is to the great­est advan­tage of every­body that com­peti­tors will not play games as of now. The lead­ing group of Celtic Rug­by DAC is coor­di­nat­ing the sus­pen­sion, and will remain under con­sis­tent review.”

David Jor­dan, Tour­na­ment Direc­tor PRO14 Rug­by, stat­ed: We have made this deci­sion with everyone’s wel­fare fore­most in our minds. With an evolv­ing sit­u­a­tion in the five coun­tries that take part in Guin­ness PRO14 it’s impor­tant to make an obvi­ous deci­sion in keep­ing with the advice of the var­i­ous gov­ern­ments involved.”

Resump­tion of the 2019/20 sea­son will remain a mat­ter of con­sis­tent review.

“This is an unprece­dent­ed action for the tour­na­ment and we can’t at this stage pro­vide the end date for the sus­pen­sion.” the state­ment said.

South Africa has two com­peti­tors in the tournament–the Toy­ota Chee­tahs and South­ern Kings–who will stop seri­ous activ­i­ty until the board hold the meet­ing to lift the sus­pen­sion.

Mean­while, World Rug­by has announced the post­pone­ment of the women’s HSBC World Rug­by Sev­ens Chal­lenger Series tour­na­ment in response to  the spread­ing  Covid-19 pan­dem­ic.

The South African Women’s Sev­ens team were to com­pete with teams from Argenti­na, Bel­gium, Chi­na, Colom­bia, Japan, Kaza­khstan, Kenya, Mex­i­co, Papua New Guinea, Poland and Scot­land in Stel­len­bosch on March 28 and 29.  .

“The health and safe­ty of tak­ing part teams, tour­na­ment event staff and spec­ta­tors is our high­est pri­or­i­ty,” World Rug­by said in a state­ment.

“We have tak­en this proac­tive deci­sion to help pro­tect the glob­al rug­by and the wider pub­lic based on the World Health Organ­i­sa­tion and rel­e­vant pub­lic author­i­ty trav­el and health guide­lines.

“Stake­hold­ers are sup­port­ing the deci­sion, includ­ing unions and com­mer­cial partners.“We will com­mu­ni­cate fur­ther details to  rearrange the Stel­len­bosch women’s HSBC World Rug­by Chal­lenger Series event in due course,” the state­ment said.

 

 

 

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