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Ireland’s Six Nations clash against Italy at the Aviva Stadium on March 7th has been postponed due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.
The men’s, women’s and under-20 matches will all be rescheduled following consultation with the government and a meeting between Minister for Health Simon Harris and IRFU officials.
Ireland is currently in containment mode, and there have been outbreaks of the Covid-19 virus in northern Italy, which has led to fears that travelling Italian fans could bring the virus to Ireland.
The northern Italian regions of Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont have been named in the expanded list of at-risk areas.
“The IRFU had a positive meeting with Minister Harris and his advisors today, where we requested a formal instruction as to the staging of the Ireland v Italy international matches over the weekend of 6/8 March,” an IRFU statement read.
“At the outset we made it clear that the IRFU was supportive of the Governments’ need to protect public health in relation to the Coronavirus.
“We were then advised, formally, that The National Public Health Emergency team has determined that the series of matches should not proceed, in the interests of Public Health.
“The IRFU is happy to comply with this instruction.”
It is unclear when the games will be rescheduled.