All rugby international matches in July have been postponed.

All rugby international matches in July have been postponed.

World Rugby has confirmed that the entire programme of international rugby matches scheduled for the 2020 July window have been postponed due to ongoing government and health agency Covid-19 directives.

Extended travel and quarantine restrictions that apply to numerous countries, and concerns over adequate player preparation time, mean that any sort of cross-border international rugby competition cannot be hosted in July.

Ireland were scheduled to play two Tests in Australia, as were England in Japan and France in Argentina. Wales were due to play one Test in Japan before two more in New Zealand. Scotland were to play two Tests in South Africa and one in New Zealand. Italy’s schedule included Tests in the USA, Canada and Argentina.

World Rugby issued the following statement on Friday morning on behalf of national unions, international competition owners and the players:

“Monitoring of the potential impact on the remaining 2020 international windows continues in full collaboration with international rugby stakeholders and the respective authorities.

“All parties, including member unions, international competitions, professional club competitions and international rugby players, will be involved in the continued evaluation of potential contingency options with a view to achieving an aligned calendar for the remainder of the year.

All decision-making will be entirely contingent on national government travel, quarantine and health advice and important player welfare and hosting considerations in line with return-to-rugby guidance recently published by World Rugby.”

More information: THE IRISH TIMES.