Georgia have announced that their derby clash with rivals Russia will now be played behind closed doors.
The Georgian national rugby team, nicknamed The “Lelos”, beat Portugal in the French capital of Paris last week and claimed their 12th Rugby European Championship title – their third in a row.
In a statement, they said: “Dear Friends, in view of the current circumstances, we take daily consultations with the Government of Georgia and the National Disease Control Centre.
“Considering the current situation, we decided to play Georgia vs Russia match on March 14 without spectators.
“Everyone who already purchased match tickets can address tkt.ge for reimbursement. Please accept our apologies for this situation. Thank you for your kind support.”
Six Nations: Ireland vs. Italy in Dublin on March 7; Italy vs. England in Rome on March 14; France vs. Ireland in Paris on March 14, postponed.
Women’s Six Nations: Italy vs. Scotland in Legnano on Feb. 23; Scotland vs. France in Glasgow on March 7; Ireland vs. Italy in Dublin on March 8; Italy vs. England in Padua on March 15; Wales vs. Scotland in Cardiff on March 15; France vs. Ireland in Villeneuve-d’Ascq on March 15, postponed.
Pro14: Zebre vs. Ospreys on Feb. 29; Treviso vs. Ulster on Feb. 29; Cardiff vs. Zebre on March 21; Treviso vs. Munster on March 21; Munster vs. Treviso on March 27; Zebre vs. Connacht on March 27, postponed.
Super Rugby: Sunwolves vs. ACT Brumbies on March 8 moved from Osaka, Japan to Canberra, Australia. Sunwolves vs. Crusaders on March 14 moved from Tokyo to Brisbane, Australia.
Japan’s Top League: Round 7 on Feb. 29-March 1 and Round 8 on March 7-8 postponed. All matches suspended from March 14-31.
Hong Kong Sevens moved from April 3-5 to Oct. 16-18.
Singapore Sevens moved from April 11-12 to Oct. 10-11.
Asia women’s championship in Hong Kong moved from March 14-22 to May 8-16.
Olympic test event (Asia Sevens Invitational) in Tokyo from April 25-26 canceled.
RANKED | The 8 biggest rivalries in world rugby ranked
Since William Webb Ellis picked up the ball at Rugby School and ran like Jonah Lomu for the opposition line in the latter half of 1823, so began the oval ball game.
And with it came some of the most intense rivalries the sporting world has seen. While football may have the upperhand in club rivalries, on the international scene it’s rugby that holds sway given the frequency they lock horns on the Test stage.
They’re the clashes that set the pulses racing more than any other with the prospect of a full-blooded encounter with the odd bout of fisticuffs thrown in for good measure.
8. Georgia vs. Russia
Glasnost is put on the back-burner and though not a high profile as some Test matches, there’s very little love lost in the 18 games these two have played since their inaugural clash in 1993.
Before the end of the Soviet Union many of the early clashes involved team-mates but it didn’t prevent frequent bouts of fisticuffs and to date Russia have just one draw and 17 defeats to their name against the Georgians.
Games attract crowds in excess of 50,000 and with Russia ploughing more money into developing rugby, don’t expect the rivalry to end any time soon.
Keep an eye on this one!
7. Wales vs. Ireland
An all-Celtic squabble that has its roots in a brawl in a Belfast theatre in 1914, when Wales’ notoriously combative forwards – the ‘Terrible Eight’ – were allegedly set upon by their Irish counterparts.
The game that followed was dubbed the roughest ever played, and so the tone was set for a rivalry which – while not quite brimming with the kind of political and cultural animosity that marks both nations’ meetings with England, regularly provides fireworks.
Their meeting in 2005, which saw Gavin Henson and Brian O’Driscoll go at each other like rabid dogs, while there is still resentment in Ireland over the treatment meted out to Brian O’Driscoll on the 2013 Lions Tour, which Warren Gatland pack his side with Welshmen. “Probably, out of all the teams in the Six Nations, the Welsh players dislike the Irish the most,” Gatland noted in 2009. He’s probably still right.