Six Nations have followed up Monday’s announcement that the France versus Ireland men’s tournament finale has been postponed by confirming on Tuesday that the women’s and under-20s matches between the two countries have also been called off.

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The women’s fixture was due to go ahead in Lille on Saturday with the under-20s fixed for Perpignan the previous night. The latter postponement dashes Irish hopes for now of them staying on course for the age-grade Grand Slam having won their opening three matches.   

In a statement, the Six Nations said: “Further to Monday’s press release announcing the postponement of the Guinness Six Nations match between France and Ireland, Six Nations can now confirm that the women and U20 matches between the two countries have also been postponed.

“The Wales vs Scotland Guinness Six Nations and U20 matches will go ahead as scheduled.

“Discussions with unions and federations are ongoing as it is of the utmost importance to find suitable dates for rescheduled matches while respecting the values and integrity of our Championship.”

Next weekend’s matches came under threat on Sunday evening when French President Emmanuel Macron placed a ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people in a bid to fight the spread of the coronavirus. 

Macron’s announcement followed the previous week’s decision by the French government to place a ban on indoor gatherings of over 5,000 people.

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Meanwhile, round 14 and 15 Guinness PRO14 fixtures involving Benetton and Zebre have now been postponed due to restrictions enforced by the Italian government that will prevent the teams from travelling.

The round 14 game between Cardiff Blues and Zebre in Wales (March 21) and the round 15 game between Munster and Benetton (March 27) in Ireland have now been postponed.

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