Glasgow and Edinburgh’s postponed Guinness PRO14 derby clash has been rescheduled for next Friday after league chiefs decided to shelve the capital club’s trip to Italy in a bid to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.

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Warriors were due to host Richard Cockerill’s team on Boxing Day but were forced to cancel the game when four members of the Scotstoun squad tested positive for coronavirus.

The game will now take place at Glasgow’s home on January 8 – with Edinburgh’s January 9 trip to Parma to face Zebre being called off.

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Instead, Zebre will take on Italian rivals Benetton – who had been due to travel to Scotland to face Glasgow – at home.

In a statement, the league organisers said they had swapped the two derby clashes in “order to mitigate the risks currently posed by the pandemic”.

They added: “It is uncertain when the current restrictions placed on travel between the UK and Italy will be lifted and this poses a significant risk to the fixtures between these teams as previously planned.

“By switching these matches it ensures that all Round 11 games in the Guinness PRO14 require no international travel and teams will have greater control of their environments.

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“As a result, the Glasgow Warriors v Benetton and Zebre v Edinburgh games will be scheduled for another weekend in early 2021.”

David Jordan, PRO14 Rugby’s technical director, added: “We are very grateful to our clubs and broadcasters for their support of this change to their Guinness PRO14 fixtures.

“The pandemic has created a very fluid situation in our sport and, in this instance, we believe it is prudent to prevent international travel where these teams are concerned.”

The decision means Saturday’s meeting between Glasgow and Edinburgh at Murrayfield will be the first leg of their derby double-header, rather than the decider as originally planned.

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Glasgow head coach Danny Wilson told the PA news agency: “This makes perfect sense with the current travel restrictions put in place because of the Covid situation.

“It’s exciting for us to be able to play two derby matches over this New Year period.”

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