Premiership Rugby prepare contingency plans should European club competitions be suspended

Premiership Rugby is drawing up contingency plans should European club competitions be suspended because of Covid-19.

The Champions Cup and Challenge Cup are expected to be halted on Monday after the French Government told Top 14 clubs not to take part in cross-border matches.

Should competition organisers European Professional Club Rugby postpone the final two rounds of pool-phase action, there would be a two-week gap in the club calendar.

Exeter and Bristol bosses Rob Baxter and Pat Lam believe Rounds 7 and 8 of the Premiership should be brought forward, if European competition does not resume as scheduled on Friday, to avoid the prospect of midweek fixtures and ease player workload.

That would create room later in the season for the postponed European games to be rescheduled for, but Top 14 and PRO14 clubs would also be required to follow suit with the Premiership.

Meanwhile, the Six Nations remain in talks with the French government to decide if the tournament can proceed.

Organisers are hopeful that tougher Covid-19 protocols will ensure it does begin as scheduled on February 6.

The Women’s Six Nations is expected to be postponed as a result of the escalating coronavirus crisis.

Elsewhere, discussions are ongoing about how to proceed with games due to be held in London over the coming weeks in the Women’s Premier 15s.

Saracens vs Sale was called off by the Rugby Football Union on Saturday after a major incident was declared in London on Friday amid rising cases of coronavirus.

Harlequins also saw their game against Wasps postponed due “ongoing Covid-19 concerns” at the club.

The league has nine weekends set aside as contingency, with no coronavirus testing in the women’s game.

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