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Leicester game cancelled just hours after naming XV for Bordeaux

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

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Leicester have finished out their Heineken Champions Cup pool a day earlier than planned as it was decided that virus-hit Bordeaux would be unable to travel from France for Saturday’s match in England.  This development resulted in the Tigers being awarded a 28-0 win and five match points to leave them sitting at the top of Pool B with 19 points, four ahead of Gallagher Premiership champions Harlequins who host Castres on Friday night. 

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The Leicester match at Mattioli Woods Welford Road didn’t appear to be under threat as Steve Borthwick announced his matchday 23 at the appointed time on Friday lunchtime and the visiting Bordeaux did likewise.

The rejuvenated Leicester had George Ford chosen to skipper an XV featuring England picks Ben Youngs, Freddie Steward, Joe Heyes and the uncapped Ollie Chessum with Ellis Genge named on the bench. 

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Racing assistant Mike Prendergast guests on Le French Rugby Podcast
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Racing assistant Mike Prendergast guests on Le French Rugby Podcast

However, the plug was pulled on the match just a few hours later. A statement read: “EPCR has been informed by Bordeaux that they have recorded a number of positive test results for Covid-19 among their tournament squad and, as a consequence, the club is not in a position to fulfil its Champions Cup round four fixture against Leicester.#

“The Pool B fixture at Welford Road is therefore regrettably cancelled with Leicester Tigers awarded the match on a 28-0, five-match points basis, in accordance with the tournament rules.”

 

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With the committee room outcome a decision that won’t prevent Bordeaux from qualifying for the round of 16 section of the Champions Cup, the French club appears to have accepted the ruling in good faith and has published the EPCR media statement on its website. 

This is in contrast to the furious reaction from defending champions Toulouse when it emerged that their home match versus Cardiff was cancelled and the award of a 28-0 win and five-match points to the Welsh region left the French club fearing their might not qualify from their pool.       

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