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Final round of the Gallagher Premiership hit by a second match cancellation

By Liam Heagney

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The final day of the Gallagher Premiership regular season has been left reeling by a second match cancellation, the fixture between league leaders Bristol and Heineken Cup-chasing London Irish getting called off by league officials early on Saturday morning. 

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The call-off follows Tuesday’s announcement that the match between bottom club Worcester and European qualification hopefuls Gloucester would also not go ahead. That cancellation scuppered Gloucester’s qualification hopes.

In total, ten matches over the course of the season have now been cancelled and a panel will meet to decide the points share of this latest round 22 cancellation.

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With London Irish the club where the virus breakout was reported to have happened, they will likely receive two points with four going to Bristol. That would guarantee Bristol a first-place finish ahead of next week’s semi-finals while the two points for Irish would allow them into the top eight ahead of Saturday’s game involving European qualification rivals Bath.  

A Premiership Rugby statement read: “London Irish returned positive Covid-19 tests this week and a significant number of their playing squad were ruled out of the match through the contact tracing process. This meant London Irish were unable to fulfil the fixture at Ashton Gate, something that was only confirmed this morning.

“Our priority is the health and safety of everyone involved with London Irish and Bristol Bears and we will give the clubs any support they need. We wish everyone affected a full and speedy recovery. Neither Premiership Rugby nor the club will be naming any of the players or staff involved and we’d ask everyone to respect their privacy.

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“Under the Premiership Rugby regulations, the match between London Irish and Bristol Bears will be cancelled. A Premiership Rugby panel will now be convened to determine the allocation of points and a further announcement will be made in due course.”

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Final round of the Gallagher Premiership hit by a second match cancellation

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