Six Nations Championship: Women’s event postponed due to Covid-19, Men’s one to go ahead

AFP
Six Nations Championship: Women’s event postponed due to Covid-19, Men’s one to go ahead 

The organizers of Six Nations Championship on Wednesday decided to postpone the women’s tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, insisted on going ahead with men’s one as scheduled.

The women’s event, along with men’s Under-20 competition, is now expected to be played later in spring or early summer this year, the organizers hoped.

With the women's teams largely being made up of amateurs -- 2020 champions England are the only fully professional side whilst France are semi-professional -- fitting them into a bubble for the tournament is extremely problematic if not impossible.

The previous women's Six Nations was also affected with the championship being brought to a premature halt last November due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The women's Rugby World Cup starts on September 18 in New Zealand but Ireland, Scotland or Italy are yet to qualify for the global event.

Britain has been one of the hardest hit globally by the virus outbreak, with more than 83,000 people losing their lives after testing positive for the virus.

It is currently mired in its third, and worst, wave of the virus, registering record daily case numbers and death tolls blamed on a new strain of the disease.

"The dynamic nature of the external environment and the ongoing challenges it presents, particularly for sports and teams of amateur status, meant a collective agreement to push both Championships to new later windows was prudent to ensure, where possible, that both competitions can be played safely and without interruption in 2021," read the Six Nations Rugby Limited's statement.

"It was also important that the decision was made in a timely manner to allow players and management to plan accordingly."

However, they remain confident the men's tournament will begin on February 6 as planned.

"Whilst closely monitoring the situation, Six Nations Rugby also confirms plans to stage the men's Six Nations Championship remain as scheduled," read their statement.

"Following the successful completion of the 2020 Six Nations and Autumn Nations Cup, Six Nations Rugby is in constant dialogue with each of its governmental authorities and is further reinforcing its Covid-19 protocols."

Six Nations Championship: Women’s event postponed, Men’s one to go ahead