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French Rugby Leagues cancelled as questions mount over completion of Champions Cup

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Toulouse are due to play Ulster later this month

Toulouse are due to play Ulster later this month

SPORTSFILE

Toulouse are due to play Ulster later this month

The French National Rugby League (LNR) have confirmed that this season's TOP 14 and PRO D2 have been cancelled due to Covid-19.

The writing has been on the wall since earlier this week when government officials put a halt to professional sport until September at the earliest, and tournament organisers have now succumbed to the inevitable fate.

The 2019/20 season will be scrapped in favour of focusing on restarting a fresh campaign in September, should they be given the green light to do so.

The LNR had initially hoped to run play-off games in August, but with the global pandemic still wreaking havoc, they have opted for a fresh start instead.

European Rugby officials are monitoring the situation closely as this latest development is likely to have major ramifications for the Champions and Challenge Cups.

Discussions with the relevant stakeholders are ongoing, while a LNR steering committee will continue to assess the situation in France.

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Ulster were due to play their Champions Cup quarter-final in Toulouse earlier this month, while Racing 92 and Clermont are also involved in the last eight of Europe's premier tournament.

The EPCR have remained firm in their stance that they are fully committed to completing this season's European tournaments.

Bordeaux Begles had led the TOP 14 table by eight points after 17 games, while Stade Francais were rooted to the bottom.

It remains to be seen what decisions will be made around official final standings.

An official statement from the LNR read: "The Bureau of the National Rugby League and the Presidents of TOP 14 and PRO D2 Clubs met last night.

"The President of the LNR presented the different options following the announcement of measures specific to sporting events included in the deconfinement plan presented Tuesday by the Prime Minister to the National Assembly.

"After consultation with the Presidents of TOP 14 and PRO D2 Clubs, the Bureau will propose to the LNR Steering Committee not to follow up on scenario 2 which provided for the organisation of Final Phases at the end of August to close the 2019-2020 season, to pronounce the end of this 2019-2020 season, and to focus on organising the launch of the 2020-2021 editions of the two championships starting in September 2020.

"In the continuity of a first meeting which took place this morning with the Minister of Sports, the National Rugby League will present in the coming days to the Ministry of Sports its proposal for medical protocol, re-athletics, preparation for the preparation of the 2020-2021 championships in strict compliance with the health regulations set by the public authorities.

"The date of the National Rugby League Steering Committee, which will be convened at the end of this process, will be fixed in the coming days."

Online Editors