Coronavirus pandemic

Italy game off after spate of Fiji cases

ROME • The Autumn Nations Cup game between Fiji and Italy on Saturday in Ancona has been called off following 29 positive coronavirus cases within the Fiji team, Six Nations Rugby announced on Tuesday.

"Tournament organisers remain in constant contact with the Fijian squad to address the situation. The main priority at present is the welfare of all players and management," the tournament organisers said, adding that it would review the potential impact on Fiji's remaining matches.

Fiji are due to play Scotland on Nov 28, while Italy, who lost their opening match 28-17 to Scotland last Saturday, next take on France in Paris on the same day.

Earlier, France were awarded a 28-0 victory and a bonus point after last Sunday's Group B game against Fiji was also called off following positive Covid-19 cases in the Fiji squad.

Fiji Rugby said last week that one of their players had tested positive and Six Nations Rugby added that additional tests had "resulted in another four positive cases affecting close contacts as well".

France are due to play Scotland in Edinburgh on Sunday before a game against Italy on Nov 28 in the Autumn Nations Cup, a tournament created to replace the November Tests after the international schedule was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Southern hemisphere giants New Zealand, South Africa and Australia typically tour Europe at this time of the year, but travel restrictions and health risks have prevented the teams from doing so.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS​

  • 29 Positive Covid-19 cases within the Fiji team, who are in Group B of the eight-nation Autumn Nations Cup with France, Italy and Scotland.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2020, with the headline 'Italy game off after spate of Fiji cases'. Print Edition | Subscribe