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EPCR award Leinster a walkover after controversial cancellation of game with Toulon

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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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Devin Toner guests on RugbyPass All Access talking about freak athlete second rows

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.

“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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Shaylen 2 hours ago
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If France, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland got together and all changed their eligibility laws in the same way SA has it would be absolutely bonkers. All players from all nations involved in Europe would be fair game as would their coaches. The investment in rugby would be supercharged as teams would rush to create dream teams. Transfer markets would be super charged, salary caps may change, private investment would grow as rich backers first buy clubs and then put money into their clubs in an effort to land the best players. The richest clubs and franchises would benefit most but money and players would move across borders at a steady flow. Suddenly countries like Wales and Scotland would have a much larger pool of players to select from who would be developed and improved in systems belonging to their rivals within superstar squads while their clubs receive large sums in the transfer market. The Six Nations would experience a big boost as the best players become available all the time. The Champions cup would become even more fiercely contested as the dream teams clash. Fan engagement would grow as fans would follow their favourite players creating interest in the game across the continent. Transfer markets and windows would become interesting events in themselves, speculation would drive it and rumours of big transfers and interest in players would spread. All of this is speculation and much of it would not eventuate straight away but just like in football the spread of players and talent would create these conditions over time. The transfer markets in European football is proof of this. Football had the same club vs country debate eons ago and favoured an open system. This has made it the largest game in the world with global interest and big money. Rugby needs to embrace this approach in the long run as well

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Jon 8 hours ago
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