Leinster have been handed a walkover by EPCR after their round of 16 Heineken Champions Cup tie at home to Toulon was cancelled less than five hours before kick-off on Friday. Toulon were left angered that the close contact tracing process following a positive test by one of their players who did not travel to Dublin ruled out their starting front row and their three replacements.  

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They were apparently offered the opportunity to call up other players and have the match rescheduled to be played on Sunday. However, they branded their treatment by the EPCR a disgrace and claimed it would be impossible to assemble a competent front row in time. 

That left officials with no option but to cancel the match and a decision has now been taken on a result, paving the way for Leinster to move into the quarter-finals where they will play away next weekend against the winners of this Saturday’s Exeter versus Lyon round of 16 match.   

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An EPCR statement announcing the verdict on the Dublin cancellation read: “Following the cancellation of the Heineken Champions Cup round of 16 fixture between Leinster and Toulon due to health and safety concerns for players, club staff and match officials alike, the result of the match has been decided by a match result resolution committee.

“The committee, comprising members of the EPCR management team – with EPCR board members Andrea Rinaldo (FIR) and Robert Howat (SRU) as observers – considered the facts regarding the cancelled match today [Friday].

“Following medical advice that the match could not be played safely, Toulon were unable to select a matchday squad after it was deemed that the club had a number of high-risk close contacts with one of its non-travelling players who had tested positive for Covid-19.

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“Therefore as Toulon could not fulfil the fixture, the committee decided under the terms of EPCR’s Covid-19 protocol that Leinster will progress to the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals on the weekend of April 9/10/11.”

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