Two fixtures set be played this weekend have been cancelled over fears surrounding the Coronavirus outbreak.

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The Pro14 have confirmed that two games scheduled to be played this coming Saturday in Italy have been postponed due to ‘restrictions enforced by national and local authorities.’

The two games in question are Zebre’s tie against Ospreys and Benetton’s clash with Ulster.

The Pro14 confirmed that contingency-planning around the rescheduling of the two Round 13 games are currently underway.

Earlier in Monday it was confirmed that the number of people infected with the Covid-19 strain of the Coronavirus had jumped to more than 200 people in Italy, where five people have died from the disease.

It is unclear if increased restrictions will effect the remainder of Italy’s Six Nations campaign.

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The Azzurri are set to play Ireland in Dublin on March 7th before hosting England in Rome on March 14th.

“Both Guinness PRO14 fixtures set to take place in Italy this weekend have been postponed due to the restrictions enforced by national and local authorities dealing with the threat posed by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak,” the Pro14 said in a statement on Monday.

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“Contingency-planning around the rescheduling of the Round 13 games – Zebre Rugby Club v Ospreys (14:00 local) and Benetton v Ulster (16:00 local) – are currently underway.

“The restrictions on public gatherings and sporting events put in place by the Italian authorities apply in the Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto regions and have already seen a Women’s Six Nations game and four Serie A football fixtures postponed over the weekend.

“Fixtures in Italy’s national rugby championship, Top 12, and all domestic rugby activities have also been postponed ahead of this weekend.

“The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) latest report has listed 78 countries with confirmed cases of the Corona virus.

“To ensure the safety of our players and spectators PRO14 Rugby fully supports the preventative measures taken in Italy and will adhere to the directives from the WHO and local authorities

“The current restrictions are in place until Sunday, March 1, 2020 and PRO14 Rugby will remain in contact with the FIR (Italian Union), Zebre Rugby Club, Benetton Rugby and World Rugby to monitor situation on a daily basis.”

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