March 19, 2020 / 7:53 PM / 21 days ago

Pro-14 season suspended indefinitely, final cancelled

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The suspension of rugby’s PRO14 2019/20 competition has been extended indefinitely and the final scheduled for June has been cancelled due to coronavirus, organisers said on Thursday.

The competition, which features leading clubs and provinces from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, South Africa and Italy, had already been put on hold before the various unions subsequently postponed all rugby in the countries involved.

“The board of Celtic Rugby DAC met by teleconference this week and agreed upon a strict list of criteria that would enable the Championship to recommence,” the league said in a statement.

“However, no decision on a definitive re-commencement date can be made until four key criteria can be met within our respective competing territories:

“Public Health Authorities cease to prohibit the resumption of sport and group training.

“Travel restrictions between our territories are lifted.

“No forced isolation or quarantine orders are in force when visiting our territories.

“Player welfare is safeguarded, including requirement for a suitable pre-recommencement training period.

“Due to the evolving situation, unfortunately the board had to take the further decision to cancel the PRO14 Final at Cardiff City Stadium, set to take place on June 20. Refunds will be made automatically to all who have already purchased tickets.

“Should any final be played as part of the 2019/20 season, it will be hosted by the team with highest ranking based upon league records from this campaign.”

All major club rugby union competitions around the world have been suspended because of the impact of the virus, while four Six Nations international matches were postponed.

Reporting by Mitch Phillips; Editing by Ken Ferris

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