PRO14 Final on 20th June is cancelled as league suspended indefinitely

Scottish domestic leagues remain in a state of limbo, while Ireland have decided to conclude their club season with immediate effect

The 2019-20 PRO14 campaign has been suspended indefinitely. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson
The 2019-20 PRO14 campaign has been suspended indefinitely. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

THE suspension of the 2019-20 Guinness PRO14 season is now on an indefinite basis due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and tournament organisers Celtic Rugby DAC have decided to cancel the league’s showcase Final at Cardiff City Stadium which was set to take place on June 20th. Refunds will be made automatically to all who have already purchased tickets.

Several proposals have been put forward regarding how to restart the season and these will be reviewed in the near future. Should any final be played as part of the 2019-20 season it will be hosted by the team with highest ranking based upon league records from this campaign.

Scottish domestic rugby is currently suspended up to an including the 29th March, but it appears increasingly unlikely that matches will resume at that point given official predictions about the spread of the disease.

The Irish Rugby Football Union made the call earlier today [Thursday] to conclude their domestic season with immediate effect. Cups will be shared by finalists, where cup competitions have reached the final fixture. There will be no promotion or relegation in any of the five divisions in the Energia Men’s All-Ireland League, while the planned expansion of the Eenrgia Women’s All-Ireland league for 2020-21 season remains in place.

“The decision to end the domestic rugby season for 2019-2020 season has not been made lightly,” said IRFU Director of Rugby Development Colin McEntee. “All options were discussed and the IRFU is satisfied it has arrived at the only equitable solution.

“These are challenging times for us all and we know clubs will be impacted by this directive, but we will look back at this season as one where we put the physical welfare of our rugby community above all else.

“Clubs are now in a position to make plans for the 2020-21 season. We look forward to marking the 30th anniversary of the All-Ireland League.”

The board of Celtic Rugby DAC met by teleconference earlier this week and agreed upon a strict list of criteria that would enable the competition to recommence. However, no decision on a definitive re-commencement date can be made until four key criteria can be met within our respective competing territories:

  • Public Health Authorities cease to prohibit the resumption of sport and group training
  • Travel restrictions between our territories are lifted
  • No forced isolation or quarantine orders are in force when visiting our territories
  • Player welfare is safeguarded, including requirement for a suitable pre-recommencement training period, to be established in conjunction with the high-performance personnel at our participating unions and teams

When positive indicators on the criteria listed above PRO14 Rugby will provide another update.

Full information on refunds will be available on https://www.pro14.rugby/final in the next 24 hours.


North East update: clubs channel frustration into positive energy by helping their communities

 

 

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David Barnes
About David Barnes 1775 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

2 Comments

  1. It should be voided, we just need to take that on the chin as there’s more important things happening. It’s going to be a long stretch indoors with the kids and part of my education programme will be a potted history of Scottish rugby excluding the Matt Williams years.

  2. The club season should be cancelled, the season should be voided or positions taken as they currently stand. Maybe using the average of points attained over games played. Whatever it is going to be and on some clubs. Just have to be philosophical and put it down to unforeseeable circumstances.

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