The Six Nations tournament may not be completed until the first week of July because of the latest postponement.
Six Nations 2021 looks to be going the way of Six Nations 2020 where last year’s tournament wasn’t wrapped up until almost eight months after the six game, two month regular schedule competition began.
It comes after Scotland’s third round match against France on Sunday was postponed due to a covid outbreak in the French squad.
Compared to other sports rugby is a different beast in trying to reschedule, with real concern over player welfare. The physicality of the game compared to something like football, sticking three games in a week is not a good idea for player’s safety.
Next weekend – Six Nation 2021’s next break – is a no no for the game to be played because it comes too soon after the outbreak was detected – the French squad having passed tests on Tuesday, one unnamed player brought back a positive test on Wednesday after a contact training session meaning there was no choice but to isolate the entire French squad.
Scotland were concerned that if the game had been rescheduled for next weekend they would be hugely disadvantaged with up to twelve players unavailable due to club commitments – next weekend’s fixtures do not fall under World Rugby’s Regulation 9 protocol which requires club sides to release players for international duty.
With next weekend being free for clubs to decide whether players could go away or not, and with the clubs paying the player’s salaries, you could imagine what Stuart Hogg, Finn Russell and co would have been ordered to do by their employers.
There was talk of a midweek game, but as highlighted above, simply sticking three games into a week is not acceptable in rugby.
So first week of July. Over three months after the tournament finishes.
Hopefully by then Scotland or France (tournament favourites) could be in the running to win the competition and so the match would have added significance being a delayed final.
If neither team are in the running we could be getting photos of Andy Farrell or Jonny Sexton lifting the trophy not in the blood, sweat, tears and glory of a Spring afternoon straight after the action, but in the summer sun, in their jammies on the doorstep of their homes.
Previous matches in tournament:
–Scotland Lose By A Point In A Thriller Against Wales In The Six Nations: Match Report
–Scotland Beat England At Twickenham In Their Opening Round Of Six Nations 2021: Match Report
Six Nations Rugby released a hollow statement they will be working to reschedule the fixture and will “communicate the date in due course.”
Good to know. But let’s throw another spanner into the works of the complex machine that is rugby schedules.
First week of July the Lions are scheduled to play the provincial game on their tour of South Africa.
It’s looking unlikely this will take place in South Africa but if this is to be played in the UK or Australia as muted then France Scotland gets pushed back further.
So, in the end, we could be seeing another October Six Nations match for the Scotland national team.
It was something of value last time around when the Scots beat Wales in Wales for the first time in 18 years.
The entire tournament was completed that weekend and, with a dearth of sport at the time due to lockdown, it was relished to give fans their sporting fix.
But now, with everything opening up in October, there will be the bustle of Premier League and golf and athletics and so on to distract from.
It’s a shame for the Scotland National team who have been superb in the tournament so far, beating England at Twickenham, and putting up a ferocious fight in the one point loss to Wales.