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Ireland's final Women's Six Nations clash off due to Covid outbreak in France set-up

France had previously agreed to play in Dublin instead of Lille.

Ireland's Lindsay Peat and Maylis Traore Dhia of France in action last year.
Ireland's Lindsay Peat and Maylis Traore Dhia of France in action last year.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Updated Oct 28th 2020, 9:50 PM

IRELAND’S FINAL 2020 Women’s Six Nations fixture against France — set for Donnybrook’s Energia Park this weekend — has been called off due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the French camp.

While the match was originally fixed to take place in Stadium Lille Métropole on Saturday, Les Bleus agreed to move the game to Dublin because Irish amateur players would have had to isolate for 14 days after returning from France, adhering to government guidelines.

The Telegraph and RTÉ Sport originally reported that the match, which was in turn set for Sunday, is now off after a coronavirus outbreak in the French squad. The42 understands that Irish players were informed earlier today.

There is no concrete indication as to whether the fixture will be rescheduled or if France will have to forfeit, though RTÉ report that Six Nations organisers are hopeful the tie can be played next month. 

Either way, the news comes as a blow for Adam Griggs’ side, who enjoyed a 14-point victory over Italy last weekend and subsequently competed their goal of winning their three home games in the 2020 Six Nations.

This weekend’s clash would have decided who finished second after all-conquering England won the competition with a game to spare, following France’s draw with Scotland on home soil.

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It also comes as a setback for Ireland in their preparation for the upcoming 2021 Rugby World Cup qualifiers.

Tonight’s news comes shortly after France announced a new national lockdown — similar to our own restrictions with elite and professional sport going ahead — until at least 1 December. Andy Farrell’s men’s side are due to face France in their own Six Nations showdown in Paris on Saturday night.

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Emma Duffy

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