<
>

France-Fiji Autumn Nations Cup clash called off amid positive COVID-19 tests

Fiji had named their team to face France on Friday but Les Bleus cancelled their team announcement after the positive coronavirus tests came to light. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

The Autumn Nations Cup game between France and Fiji on Sunday has been called off following positive coronavirus cases within the Fiji team, the French federation (FFR) and the Six Nations said on Friday.

The FFR said in a statement that the outcome of the game, which it said cannot be rescheduled, would be decided by the Six Nations committee on Monday.

Fiji, whose pre-tournament warm-up test against Portugal was also cancelled because three of their players tested positive for the novel coronavirus, are due to play Italy on Nov. 21 while France face Scotland at Murrayfield the next day.

Fiji Rugby said on Friday that one of their players had tested positive but the Six Nations added that additional tests had "resulted in another four positive cases affecting close contacts as well."

"This was a difficult and disappointing decision, but it was the only possible outcome following today's test results," Six Nations CEO Ben Morel said in a statement.

"Whilst we've all been eagerly awaiting this match, the welfare of our players and their support teams remain our number one priority. 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 Autumn Nations Cup was created to replace the November tests after the international schedule was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

All of the French players have tested negative for the coronavirus, the FFR said.