The Ireland Women’s rugby team have been dealt with a massive blow after it was announced that the remaining fixtures of the 2020 Women’s Six Nations have been cancelled.
Ireland had one match left to play in the Six Nations Championship, but this was postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the French camp. The other two games of Italy vs Scotland and Wales vs Scotland have also been cancelled.
As a result, the table for the 2020 Six Nations Championship will remain as it currently stands, with Ireland in third place – level on points with France. England have already been crowned Grand Slam winners England.
Ben Morel, CEO of Six Nations Rugby, said: “This was an extremely tough decision that was only taken after we had explored every possible option to get these matches played.
It is especially disappointing that these cancellations come at a time when there is such positive momentum around the women’s game and for the Women’s Six Nations in particular. We will now, with our Unions, put our focus and energy toward the 2021 Championship.”
It is a major blow for Ireland who had hoped to use this tournament as a warm-up for their World Cup qualifiers later this year. That World Cup 2021 qualification tournament which was scheduled for December, has also been postponed.
Ireland were due to take on Italy, Scotland and the winner of the postponed Rugby Europe Women’s Championship for the right to play in the World Cup in New Zealand next year but, due to the Covid-19 issues across the continent, World Rugby has decided to reschedule for an as-yet unspecified date in 2021.
IRFU Director of Women’s Rugby, Anthony Eddy, today said that they will look at the performance opportunities available to his women’s team following the cancellations of the tournaments.
Instantly seeking positives from the disappointing news Eddy identified opportunity to continue to train and prepare, plan and focus even more on the important qualifiers.
The IRFU will work with World Rugby and the other Unions affected to identify a window in 2021 to play the qualifiers.
“This was an extremely tough decision that was only taken after we had explored every possible option to get these matches played,” Six Nations chief executive Ben Morel said.
“It is especially disappointing that these cancellations come at a time when there is such positive momentum around the women’s game and for the Women’s Six Nations in particular.
“We will now, with our unions, put our focus and energy toward the 2021 Championship.”