Ireland’s Six Nations game against Italy, scheduled for March 7 in Dublin, has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Irish Rugby Football Union has announced.
A very small number of international rugby matches have been called off down the years.
Here are four occasions where games were called off or rearranged.
1. Ireland vs France, Paris, 2012
This match was abandoned just two minutes after the scheduled kick-off time at the Stade de France – because the pitch was still frozen. The pitch had passed an earlier inspection, but the referee then reversed his decision close to kick-off.
The capacity crowd of 80,000 people were told by the PA announcer that the ground was not deemed safe for playing a game of rugby.
France captain Thierry Dusautoir then took the microphone to address the fans.
“Thanks to everyone for coming to encourage us tonight, unfortunately the game has been called off,” Dusautoir said.
“I hope you will all come and support us next time. The decision has been taken, and now we will prepare for the next time.”
By the time the game was due to start the air temperature was -5C.
2. Ireland v Scotland and Ireland v Wales, 1972
It was the height of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland and rugby became a dangerous occupation. Ireland had beaten France and England away and turned to their home games of Scotland and Wales.
But a series of bomb threats and death threats by the IRA ratcheted up the pressure .The games were due to be played in the wake of the burning down of the British Embassy after Bloody Sunday.
Eventually, both players and authorities decided to call off the matches.