The IRFU have released a statement after Minister for Health Simon Harris said the Ireland v Italy Six Nations game scheduled for Dublin next month should not go ahead due to the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy.
Seven people have died in Italy and 229 tested positive for the virus, while 11 towns in the north are in lockdown.
“This game should not go ahead,” Harris told Irish broadcaster RTE.
🚨BREAKING— Darran Marshall (@DarranMarshall) February 25, 2020
Ireland’s Health Minister @SimonHarrisTD has said his Dept will recommend that the Ireland v Italy #SixNations match is called off.
The game is scheduled for Dublin on March 7th#rugby #GuinnessSixNations #CoronaVirus #COVID19 #COVIDー19pic.twitter.com/wBsEojRvXe
Earlier, Six Nations organisers said they were “monitoring very closely” the coronavirus situation.
Ireland have since responded.
“The IRFU is seeking an urgent meeting with Minister Harris as to the specific reasoning behind calling for the cancellation of the Ireland v Italy Six Nations fixture in the context of the Government’s overall travel policy to and from Italy and other affected countries,” a statement read.
“Until such time as the IRFU has had contact with the Minister and gets an understanding of the government’s strategic policy on travel to and from Ireland and the cancellation of mass gatherings, it is not in a position to comment further.”
HIGHEST PAID SIX NATIONS PLAYERS:
- Conor Murray (Munster) – £565,000
- Johnny Sexton (Leinster) – £536,000
- Paddy Jackson (London Irish) – £500,000