GLASGOW’s Champions Cup match against Lyon on Saturday has been cancelled as a result of positive tests within the Exeter Chiefs playing squad. Twenty of the Warriors’ matchday squad who played against Exeter last Sunday are now self-isolating as a result.
Under tournament rules the match will not be rescheduled, and European Professional Club Rugby will need to rule on a result. Glasgow’s concern is that although they are in no way to blame for Exeter’s positive tests, they could be deemed to have been primarily responsible for the cancellation of the Lyon game, which had been due to kick off at Scotstoun at 1pm on Saturday. In that case, the result would be a 28-0 defeat for Danny Wilson’s side.
Defending champions Exeter, who beat Glasgow 42-0 at Sandy Park, have also had their match at Toulouse on Sunday cancelled. That game also looks set to be declared a 28-0 loss for the English club, although officially EPCR will need to convene the relevant committee before a resolution is reached.
EPCR announced the two cancellations in a statement released mid-afternoon. It read: “EPCR has been informed that a number of Exeter Chiefs players and staff have tested positive for COVID-19, and that in accordance with public health guidelines, the club will not be able to send a match day squad to fulfil its Heineken Champions Cup, Round 2 fixture against Toulouse at Stade Ernest Wallon on Sunday (20 December). The Pool B match is therefore cancelled.
As Exeter Chiefs played against Glasgow Warriors in Round 1 of the tournament, Glasgow Warriors have advised EPCR that many of its senior players are now self-isolating in accordance with public health guidelines, and consequently, the club is not in a position to field a match day squad of the appropriate standard for its Heineken Champions Cup, Round 2 fixture against Lyon at Scotstoun Stadium on Saturday (19 December). The Pool B match between Glasgow Warriors and Lyon is therefore also cancelled.
“As per its COVID-19 protocol, EPCR will convene Match Result Resolution Committees to determine the results of the cancelled matches and the decisions of the committees will be communicated as soon as practicable.”
A statement from Glasgow said: “A total of 20 Glasgow Warriors players from the match-day 23 in Exeter last Sunday are now self-isolating after several Exeter Chiefs players and staff tested positive for COVID-19.
“On discovery Glasgow Warriors immediately consulted Public Health Scotland to determine this outcome and has the support of Scottish Rugby’s Threat Management Group.
“With a significant number of players self-isolating and an extensive injury list, the decision has been taken that it is not safe to play on Saturday. Exeter’s round two game against Toulouse is also cancelled. EPCR will convene Match Result Resolution Committees to determine the results of the cancelled matches and the decisions of the committees will be communicated as soon as practicable.
“Glasgow Warriors will now turn its attention to mitigating any further risks to its squad to protect the upcoming 1872 Cup fixtures against Edinburgh in the Guinness PRO14.
“The club has reviewed the stringent COVID-19 protocols that it has put in place for its squad and commends its players and staff who have been exemplary in following these during this period.”
Seems only fair to me that as Exeter are primarily responsible for the virus that they should suffer 28-0 defeat to Tolouse? I think as Glasgow are not responsible in anyway that if Glasgow are to suffer the same fate of a 28-0 loss to Lyon that we be rightly compensated with some of that Premiership money, after all, they have effectively knocked us out of the Champions and the lower rank club due to this as well as impacting our Pro14 campaign.
Any bets it’s captain Hogg contracting the virus while getting his hair done?
Assuming Exeter followed all the required protocols it seems harsh to call them responsible for catching the virus. They just seem to be the unlucky ones this time.
Unfortunately it seems that to win this year’s competition a large slice of luck will be required.
Saves them from another gubbing!
Disappointing. But, are these professional & international competitions & tournaments viable or sustainable at the present time, when the pandemic appears to be re-gathering its pace and capacity to infect?
Couldn’t agree more Ron. The credibility of the tournament is in serious jeopardy if all of the matches cannot be played. Perhaps a straight knock out format may have been a better option.
Vaccine is here; more to come. They are tested as this story demonstrates…. People need sport and culture.