Autumn Nations Cup match between France and Fiji is OFF after five players from the Oceania side tested positive for coronavirus this week
- France were due to take on Fiji in their first Autumn Nations Cup tie on Monday
- But an outbreak of coronavirus in the Fiji squad means this game is now off
- The game cannot be rescheduled due to the tight schedule of the tournament
- A meeting will take place on Monday to determine how the result will be decided
France’s opening Autumn Nations Cup fixture against Fiji has been cancelled after an outbreak of coronavirus in the Oceania nation’s squad.
Fiji reported a positive case for coronavirus on Tuesday, but it was announced on Friday that another four players had been diagnosed with the virus with many players affected by the decision.
The match was supposed to take place on Monday but the outbreak of the virus means the fixture cannot happen, nor can it be rearranged due to the tight schedule of the new autumn tournament.
An outbreak of Covid-19 in the Fiji squad means their Autumn Nations Cup tie with France is off
A meeting will take place on Monday to determine how the match will be decided.
Bristol back and Fiji captain Semi Radradra is one of the players to have been diagnosed with the virus.
Six Nations CEO Ben Morel said in a statement: ‘This was a difficult and disappointing decision, but it was the only possible outcome following today’s test results.
‘Whilst we’ve all been eagerly awaiting this match, the welfare of our players and their support teams remain our number one priority.
France’s opening match of the competition will not take place as it cannot be rearranged
Fiji captain Semi Radradra (above) is one of the players to have been diagnosed with the virus
‘We have a rigorous testing programme in place. In this instance, it is impossible for the Fijians to field a competitive team and we have no other option but to cancel this match.
‘I want to thank the Fijian and French Unions for their collaboration and wish the impacted athletes a speedy recovery.’
The tournament also revealed that a further set of tests will be made before Fiji’s next match against Italy on November 21.
The cancellation comes as a blow to the new tournament, which was introduced in this coronavirus impacted year to replace the usual autumn internationals.
The cancellation of the game is a blow to the new tournament, to be shown on Amazon Prime
The eight teams competing in the tournament will be split into groups of four. After playing each other once, the teams finishing in first spot in either group will play each other, as will the teams in second, third and fourth.
The winners of those games at the start of December will determine the overall standings.
The opening game of the tournament will take place on Friday night between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
The competition will be broadcasted on both Channel 4 and Amazon Prime, with the majority of games shown on the streaming service.