The Six Nations meeting of France and Ireland, scheduled for Saturday March 14, has been postponed as a result of coronavirus fears, according to reports in France.

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As the number of coronavirus cases across Europe continues to rise, French Rugby Federation officials met with government officials at the French sports ministry this morning to discuss the fate of the France v Ireland game, due to be played at the Stade de France this coming Saturday.

The meeting came on the back of Sunday’s decision by French President Emmanuel Macron to place a ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people in a bid to fight the spread of the coronavirus. Macron’s announcement followed last week’s decision by the French government to place a ban on gatherings of over 5,000 people indoors.

French health minister Olivier Véran had stated that events which are viewed as being “useful to the life of the country” would be exempt from that ban, but did not clarify if that included major sporting fixtures.

Yet a number of French media outlets are now reporting that the France v Ireland game will not go ahead this weekend, with Midi Olympique claiming that the meeting of Wales v Scotland in Cardiff is also set to be postponed.

It is not yet clear when the fixtures will be fulfilled, but Midi Olympique are reporting the games will not be played until late October.

The postponements have left Six Nations organisers facing some difficult decisions in terms of completing the tournament.

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Ireland’s home against Italy, set for Dublin last weekend, and England’s final round trip to face the Azzurri, were already postponed in a bit to halt the spread of coronavirus.

The number of Covid-19 cases in Europe has rapidly increased in recent days.

In Italy, the worst-affected European country, 7,375 people have so far been confirmed to have contracted the virus, with an exclusion zone in the north of the country enforced on Monday.

In France, 19 deaths and 1,126 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded as of Sunday evening.

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More information to follow.

Watch: Eddie Jones to discuss England future with RFU.

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