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Marseille decision a clear reminder of the dangers to rugby's resumption

Ruaidhri O'Connor


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'The Aviva Stadium is likely to be Irish rugby’s base for the first five weeks at the very least, with Leinster due to host Saracens in the Champions Cup quarter-final on the weekend of September 19.' Photo: Sportsfile

'The Aviva Stadium is likely to be Irish rugby’s base for the first five weeks at the very least, with Leinster due to host Saracens in the Champions Cup quarter-final on the weekend of September 19.' Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

'The Aviva Stadium is likely to be Irish rugby’s base for the first five weeks at the very least, with Leinster due to host Saracens in the Champions Cup quarter-final on the weekend of September 19.' Photo: Sportsfile

Six English Premiership players and four members of staff tested positive for Covid-19 this week, while yesterday the organisers of the Heineken Champions Cup, EPCR, announced that the final will not be held in Marseille this October.

If rugby needed a reminder of the high stakes and huge risks to its return, here it was.

EPCR's decision is eminently sensible. Marseille will instead host the finals weekend in the early summer of 2021 when it is hoped that some form of normality has returned. The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which was due to host next year's finals, will instead welcome rugby a year later.