Ireland's Six Nations trip to France off as coronavirus threat grows

Stade de France in Paris The Stade de France was due to host the fixture before it was postponed (PA)

The France v Ireland Six Nations match is the latest major sporting event to be postponed due to the coronavirus.

The game was due to be played in Paris on Saturday, but will now not go ahead on the advice of the French government.

As it stands, the Wales v Scotland match is the only game in the final round of the Six Nations due to go ahead as originally scheduled, after the Italy v England game in Rome was postponed last week.

A statement from Six Nations Rugby read: “Following instructions received from the authorities in France, the decision has been made to postpone the Round 5 Guinness Six Nations match between France and Ireland. We are still awaiting confirmation for the Women’s and U20s fixtures.”

Sports governing bodies in the United Kingdom attended a meeting with broadcasters and Government officials on Monday to discuss contingency plans in the event that advice around coronavirus changes here in the coming days or weeks.

As of Monday morning, the UK had 280 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and three people have died in UK hospitals.

Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney said there was “no medical rationale” as things stood to postpone sporting fixtures within the United Kingdom, or to play them behind closed doors.

“The basic message coming out of today is let’s not panic, let’s monitor the situation and carry on as normal,” he said.

“It was a very good meeting. The start of dialogue together. There was no medical rationale for cancelling events or behind closed doors yet, but clearly it is a moving situation so we’ll keep talking and go from there.”

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