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Summer Tests postponed due to COVID-19

Summer Tests postponed due to COVID-19

The summer internationals, scheduled for July, have been postponed due to travel restriction because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Each of the Guinness Six Nations teams were set to tour the southern hemisphere for a series of matches but those plans have now been put on hold.

England were due to visit Japan, with Wales also playing a game against last year’s Rugby World Cup hosts before a two-match series in New Zealand.

Scotland were scheduled to face World Cup winners South Africa, Ireland had a series in Australia, France were bound for Argentina and Italy also had a game lined up against the Pumas, as well as taking on USA and Canada.

But those matches have all now been postponed, confirmed in a statement from World Rugby.

“Extended travel and quarantine restrictions that apply to numerous countries, and concerns over adequate player preparation time, mean that any sort of cross-border international rugby competition cannot be hosted in July,” read the statement.

“Monitoring of the potential impact on the remaining 2020 international windows continues in full collaboration with international rugby stakeholders and the respective authorities.

“All parties, including member unions, international competitions, professional club competitions and international players, will be involved in the continued evaluation of potential contingency options with a view to achieving an aligned calendar for the remainder of the year.”

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While the cancellation of this summer’s international fixtures is disappointing for fans, the decision isn’t a huge surprise given the current climate.

England head coach Eddie Jones said: “While we are of course disappointed to have our two Test matches against Japan postponed, it’s the correct decision under the current circumstances.

“I hope all Japanese and English rugby fans are keeping safe and well and we look forward to being back on a rugby pitch and back in Japan in the future.”

And Wales coach Wayne Pivac agreed with his English counterpart, saying: “We were very much looking forward to playing both in Japan and New Zealand in the summer so this postponement is disappointing but completely understandable in the circumstances.

“On a personal note I was really looking forward to returning to New Zealand with Wales. It’s unfortunate that we will now have to wait a little longer for that privilege, but the occasion will be no less relished when it arrives.”