Toulon fury after Covid case sees Leinster Champions Cup tie cancelled

Toulon have reacted angrily following the Eleventh-hour determination to cancel Friday’s Champions Cup sport towards Leinster in Dublin due to a solitary constructive case of Covid-19 within the French membership’s squad. The three-times champions have been eradicated from the match with Leinster handed a walkover.

Senior officers from Toulon are outraged that European Skilled Membership Rugby known as off the sport barely 5 hours earlier than kick-off regardless that the front-row participant involved had remained in France and all his teammates examined unfavorable when retested on the eve of the sport.

The Toulon president, Bernard Lemaître, labelled the cancellation “disgusting” and “a scandal”, claiming the staff had been given permission to journey regardless of the constructive Covid-19 case.

It has emerged that EPCR instructed Toulon the fixture may probably be postponed till Sunday however provided that six different front-row gamers thought-about to have been in closest contact with the affected person have been stood down. In an announcement Toulon described this request as “an apparent sporting impossibility” and expressed “amazement” on the governing physique’s proposal.

“That is as soon as once more proof of the errors linked to the organisation of European competitions,” stated the assertion. “Rugby Membership Toulonnais strongly deplores this determination and sends its ideas to all its supporters who have been impatiently awaiting this match.”

EPCR officers, nevertheless, insisted that they had little selection. “Though the RC Toulon gamers and workers who had travelled undertook an extra spherical of PCR testing in Dublin which revealed no constructive outcomes, the committee concluded there have been a variety of high-risk contacts with the participant who had examined constructive and deemed the match unsafe to play with the participation of these recognized contacts.

“Having been notified of that place, RC Toulon knowledgeable EPCR that they might not choose a match day squad to soundly fulfil the fixture. Having explored all doable different preparations, it was determined the match couldn’t be performed safely given each the present public well being pointers in Eire and EPCR’s Covid-19 protocol.”

Earlier on this season’s competitors, satirically, Toulon declined to play towards Scarlets in Llanelli after a Covid-19 outbreak within the Welsh camp that resulted within the dwelling staff being awarded a 28-0 walkover win. An analogous end result was inevitable, with Leinster now set for a quarter-final assembly towards Exeter Chiefs or Lyon subsequent week.

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EPCR can be praying this newest episode is an remoted one, with quite a few different massive knockout video games scheduled for the following two weekends. Any additional cancellations would trigger havoc, with no spare weekends accessible. With Covid instances rising in France, nevertheless, there’s clearly scope for additional disruption to the cross-border competitors.

In the meantime the Scotland flanker Hamish Watson has been named Six Nations participant of the championship. The Edinburgh ahead gained 35% of the 125,000 votes solid by followers to beat Antoine Dupont of France, Louis Rees-Zammit and Taulupe Faletau of Wales, and the Eire duo Robbie Henshaw and Tadhg Beirne.

Gloucester – with out the injured Louis Rees-Zammit – went down 27-16 to La Rochelle at Kingsholm on Friday night time of their Champions Cup final 16 tie. Two George Barton penalties gave the house facet a platform however tries from Dillyn Leyds and Jules Favre boosted French hopes.

The house facet hit again with a transformed Ruan Ackermann strive earlier than the break however a yellow card for Lewis Ludlow, early within the second interval, opened the door for the guests and two additional penalties from Ihaia West prolonged the benefit. One other Barton three-pointer gave Gloucester hope however two Jules Plisson penalties – together with one from 50 metres – wrapped issues up and sealed their place within the final eight.

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