A second Autumn Nations Cup fixture has been called off after 29 cases of Covid-19 in the Fiji squad


Italy v Fiji cancelled due to Covid outbreak

The Autumn Nations Cup fixture scheduled to take place between Italy and Fiji on Saturday 21 November has been cancelled.

Tournament organisers made the decision after the latest round of Covid-19 tests returned 29 positive cases in the Fiji squad.

Fiji’s opening Autumn Nations Cup match against France, which was due to take place on Sunday 15 November, had already been called off after a handful of positive cases, but this widespread outbreak is likely to place their involvement in the tournament in jeopardy.

Their final Group B match is against Scotland on 28 November and then they are due to play in a ‘final’ with the team ranked in the same position as them in Group A on the weekend of 5-6 December.

However, with the majority of the Fiji squad, who have been at a training camp in France for the past few weeks, testing positive for Covid-19 it seems unlikely that they will be able to participate in those remaining fixtures.

A statement from organisers said: “The Tournament organiser remains in constant contact with the Fijian squad to address the situation.  The main priority at present is the welfare of all players and management. The potential impact on Fiji’s remaining matches is currently under review.”

France were awarded a 28-0 bonus-point win over Fiji following that first cancellation and it is expected that Italy would be awarded the same.

Sunday’s fixture between Scotland and France at BT Murrayfield is the only Group B fixture that will take place this weekend, while Vern Cotter’s wait to take charge of his first Test as Fiji coach goes on.

Another cancellation is a huge blow both for the tournament and Fiji, with so many fans looking forward to seeing the islanders in action this autumn.

Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.