RUGBY was sent spiralling into chaos as European bosses suspended their competition – with fears now growing that the Champions Cup will not get finished.
Games have been suspended as the French Government is concerned about the spread of the UK’s mutant Covid.
Then, with the Premiership’s top bosses from Rob Baxter to Pat Lam and Lee Blackett all demanding that fixtures were brought forward to fill the void, the league have refused with their shock call.
Even more worrying, the Six Nations are reportedly speaking with French officials today – with worries over the start of the tournament on February 6.
There are no free weekends in the fixture-list, so Europe may fall by the wayside.
Announcing plans to pause the Champions and Challenge Cups, European chiefs said: “Following a directive from the French authorities that the participation of TOP 14 clubs at the current time constitutes too great a public health risk, EPCR has no choice but to announce that the 2020/21 tournaments are temporarily suspended.
“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.
“EPCR had no choice but to temporarily suspend. While respecting all further directives by governments and local authorities, and prioritising the health and welfare of players and club staff, EPCR remains committed to trying to find a solution which will enable it to resume and complete the tournaments.”
To help stop the spread of coronavirus the Premiership are on the verge of bringing in testing twice a week.
But without a game until the end of the month, Wasps boss Blackett added: “The realisation that there is no rugby on this weekend gutted me.
“There are people who love sport and will say that’s what we live for during these tough times. It’s a fine balance.
“We’re in a position where we’re very lucky and I’m bound to say that, but I think for supporters and people who follow sport it was pretty tough wasn’t it, that first full lock down.
“Sport brings that much joy to everyone. But I do see the other side as well. We feel very lucky in what we do.
“Hopefully we can bring some joy to people out there in some difficult times.”