The Six Nations Ireland v Italy men’s and women’s games will no longer take place in Dublin on 7 and 8 March due to the coronavirus outbreak.
On Tuesday evening Simon Harris, the Irish health minister said the game should not go ahead. On Wednesday Harris met the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU).
The IRFU said in a statement, “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.
“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.”
Dr Tony Holohan, Ireland’s chief medical officer said on Wednesday at a briefing at the department of health, “What was of concern to us was the nature of the mass gathering, a large group of people coming together from an affected area where we don’t believe we fully understand the community transmission pattern in that area.
“We think there may be many more cases there that have yet to be identified. We don’t think any other responsible decision could have been made.”
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