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Top 14 suspended, putting Champions Cup quarter-finals in even greater doubt

The suspension includes all collective training by the professional clubs in France.

THE LNR HAS announced that all Top 14 and Pro D2 rugby has been suspended indefinitely as France attempts to limit the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The announcement comes after the French Rugby Federation had earlier suspended all forms of amateur and youths rugby in France.

The LNR suspension of the Top 14 and Pro D2 includes all collective training.

imago-20190615 Toulouse are the current holders of the Bouclier de Brennus. Source: Imago/PA Images

The suspension of all rugby in France means the Champions Cup quarter-finals are under even greater threat of being postponed too.

Ulster are due to travel to France to face Toulouse in the quarter-finals on Sunday 5 April, while Clermont are scheduled to host Racing 92 to the day before.

Given that those games are just over three weeks away and the undefined timeline of this suspension in France, it seems likely the Champions Cup fixtures will also be postponed in the near future.

“The LNR announces the temporary suspension of the Top 14 and Pro D2,” reads the LNR statement.

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“The LNR’s steering committee met today on an emergency conference call following the intervention of the French President regarding the health crisis in the country linked to Covid-19 and the measures being taken to curb the epidemic.

“Professional rugby intends to assume full responsibility in this exceptional situation. The LNR committee has therefore decided to temporarily suspend the Top 14 and Pro D2 championships.

“This decision has immediate effect and applies to the two Pro D2 matches which were scheduled for tomorrow (Montauban v Provence and Carcassonne v Valence).

“The LNR also requests that collective training organized by professional clubs be suspended.

“The exceptional General Assembly initially scheduled for this Monday in Toulouse is also obviously canceled. The LNR will communicate later on the calendar of meetings of its various statutory bodies which will examine the follow-up to be given to this situation.

“Health is the top priority. We therefore suspend our TOP 14 and PRO D2 championships in the exceptional context that our country is going through. The main thing is to unite in this period of national solidarity” says Paul Goze, President of the LNR .

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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