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EPCR statement: Seven more round two European games are called off

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Round two of the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournaments has been plunged into chaos after new travel measures introduced by the French Government resulted in the postponement of seven matches featuring Top 14 clubs against UK opposition.  

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A statement read: “Following a meeting of the EPCR board on Friday, it has been decided that due to current exceptional circumstances, round two matches in the Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup between French and UK clubs scheduled for Saturday and Sunday are postponed.

“This is a consequence of new travel measures between the UK and France which are being introduced by the French Government. 

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“The board received briefings from the three professional leagues which included updated information from the respective governments. However, there were insufficient assurances that these matches would not be at risk. Therefore, the intention is to reschedule the following round two fixtures to a later date:

HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP
Bath Rugby vs Stade Rochelais
Sale Sharks vs ASM Clermont Auvergne
Scarlets vs Union Bordeaux-Bègles
Stade Toulousain vs Wasps
Stade Francais Paris vs Bristol Bears

EPCR CHALLENGE CUP
Worcester Warriors vs Biarritz Olympique
London Irish vs CA Brive

“All other round two matches scheduled for Friday evening and over the weekend will go ahead as planned. EPCR will provide a further update as soon as practicable and will continue to liaise directly with all clubs, leagues and stakeholders.”

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While the above seven games will be rescheduled, EPCR had earlier awarded 28-0, five-match points wins to Montpellier, Racing and Pau after their respective matches versus Leinster, Ospreys and Saracens were cancelled. Leinster were especially annoyed with that outcome.  

The latest call-offs mean that this weekend’s twelve-game Champions Cup programme has been reduced to just five matches – Ulster-Northampton on Friday, Harlequins-Cardiff, Glasgow-Exeter and Munster-Castres on Saturday, and Leicester-Connacht on Sunday. In the Challenge Cup, only the three Friday night matches featuring Dragons-Lyon, Toulon-Zebre and Gloucester-Benetton have survived.    

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