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Six Nations to go ahead as planned - at least for now

The 7 March match between Ireland and Italy in Dublin has already been postponed but other matches will be maintained unless governments monitoring the spread of the virus decide otherwise, the organisers said.

England's centre Manu Tuilagi (C) makes a break during the Six Nations international rugby union match between England and Ireland at the Twickenham, west London, on 23 February 2020. Picture: AFP

PARIS - Remaining fixtures in the Six Nations Championships were expected to go ahead as planned, although changes could not be ruled out amid efforts to contain the coronavirus, organisers said Monday.

The 7 March match between Ireland and Italy in Dublin has already been postponed but other matches will be maintained unless governments monitoring the spread of the virus decide otherwise, the organisers said.

Rugby officials were meeting in Paris on Monday to consider whether more changes to the Six Nations calendar were needed as the number of infections and the death toll from the virus mounts.

"As it stands today, based on the latest information, all Six Nations matches currently scheduled are set to go ahead," Six Nations organisers said in a statement.

"We will refrain from making any rescheduling announcement for the time being while we keep assessing the situation."

The Irish Rugby Football Union postponed their match against Italy following consultations with Simon Harris, Ireland's health minister.

A Six Nations spokeswoman did not rule out further changes to the schedule.

"There are important government meetings in various countries in the next couple of days and we will need to see what guidance comes out of these meetings," she said.

Remaining Six Nations fixtures (times GMT):

Mar 7: England v Wales (Twickenham, 16.45)

Mar 8: Scotland v France (Murrayfield, 15.00)

Mar 14: Wales v Scotland (Principality Stadium, 14.15)

Mar 14: Italy v England (Stadio Olimpico, 16.45)

Mar 14: France v Ireland (Stade de France, 20.00)