Six Nations organisers ‘planning for tournament to go ahead as scheduled’

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The Six Nations will not be moved to the summer (Brian Lawless/PA), © PA Wire/PA Images
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Duncan Bech, PA England Rugby Correspondent

Six Nations organisers have confirmed the 2021 Championship will take place in February and March as planned in response to suggestions it could be moved to the summer.

The tournament opens when Italy host France on February 6th but, with the Lions’ tour to South Africa now in doubt because of the escalating coronavirus pandemic, it had been speculated that the Six Nations could be delayed by four months to take advantage of the potential gap in the window.

With large swathes of the population expected to be vaccinated by the summer, it has been argued there would be scope for crowds to attend, helping financially stricken unions.

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But the tournament is set to go ahead in its customary window, unless disruption is caused by Covid-19.

“The Six Nations is planning for the tournament to go ahead as scheduled, but we are are monitoring the situation with the unions and their respective governments and health authorities,” a spokesperson said.

For the Six Nations to be moved to the summer, the Lions’ tour would have to be cancelled as soon as possible, but managing director Ben Calveley on Saturday set a deadline of February for a conclusion to the crunch talks over its viability.

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