Irish act fast to postpone Six Nations clash
Ireland's Six Nations clash with Italy in Dublin next month has been be postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
The Irish Rugby Football Union have also confirmed that the women's Six Nations game against Italy, scheduled to take place a day later, has also been called off.
Irish Health Minister Simon Harris had said on Tuesday that the men's game should not go ahead with over 50,000 Italians in quarantine and 11 towns in the north of the country in complete lockdown.
"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," said an IRFU statement.
"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.
"We will immediately begin to work with our Six Nations partners to look at the possibility of rescheduling the matches and would hope to have an update on this in the coming days."
Ireland's chief medical officer said on Wednesday that the decision to call for the postponement of the men's match at the Aviva Stadium was "not made lightly".
Italy are bottom of the Six Nations table with zero points from three matches while Ireland are third and still hold feint hopes of taking the title.
The IRFU hopes to give an update on the rescheduling of matches "in the coming days".
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