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Leinster delay travel plans with decision on Montpellier game due tomorrow


Leinster head coach Leo Cullen. Photo: Sportsfile

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen. Photo: Sportsfile

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen. Photo: Sportsfile

Leinster have delayed their departure for Montpellier until Friday morning with a final decision on whether the fixture goes ahead set to be made tomorrow.

Normally, teams would make the trip a day out from a match of this significance but the four-time European champions are giving themselves as much time as possible to make sure they can leave safely.

The province have a significant number of positive Covid-19 cases in their ranks and are awaiting results of PCR tests carried out yesterday before a decision can be made.

Leinster initially planned to fly to the French city at 2pm on Thursday, but that flight has been cancelled. However, the plane remains available to them and a new slot can be booked if the game is given the green light.

As it stands, the match is slated to go ahead and public health officials in ireland and France have given the green light.

Leinster met with EPCR officials today, while they have been in regular contact with Montpellier.

However, with five cases in the Montpellier camp and an unknown number in Leinster's, further positive tests could prove too much.

Leinster have 69 registered players and enough are fit to fulfil the fixture as it stands, but both sides have big games to come in the weeks that follow.

The proximity to Christmas is also causing concern at Leinster, with players and staff fearing they may have to remain behind in France if they display symptoms or test positive while there.

All members of the scaled back travelling party have been vaccinated, but they will still require evidence of a negative test to re-enter the country.

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If the game is cancelled, an EPCR committee will decide the result. If one side is thought to have been responsible, they effectively forfeit the game and a 28-0 score is decided.

In this case, there is some hope that the game be declared a draw.

The game is scheduled to kick-off at 9pm local time on Friday.

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