The Six Nations CEO fielded questions on Covid at the tournament's launch

What happens if there’s a Covid outbreak in the Six Nations?

Matches could be postponed at the 2022 Six Nations if there’s a Covid outbreak in a team bubble, according to the tournament CEO.

Ben Morel was speaking at the tournament’s launch just over a week until the first match on 5 February. He was asked if fans could anticipate rescheduled games as there were last year. Scotland’s match against France was postponed due to an outbreak in the French camp.

“We’ve adapted our protocols and realising we may face some issues,” he said. “We are doing everything we can to limit interactions and testing extremely regularly. We’re hopeful to manage and avoid those outbreaks. History has told us to be ready for everything and we will do everything we can to stage the match on the dates they are supposed to.

“Should it impact beyond we have had several ways of dealing with it. Last year it was France v Scotland that had to be postponed. We ended up with two dramatic final weekends for the fans. But we’re hopeful we are going to be able to have a successful tournament.”

When would the postponed games take place?

Rest weeks provide windows if matches need to be rescheduled and Morel added a reduction in the isolation period will make that a possibility.

He said: “We’ve got postponement opportunities if we need them. Last year we couldn’t use those final weekends because we had a long period of isolation for the players. That is now reduced which makes things, hopefully, easier to manager. We’ve also got vaccination. We’re confident but last year we had to play a weekend longer.”

The CEO was also asked when team bubbles will come to an end. This year the players are once again following strict protocols but crowds will return to the tournament.

“Fundamentally as long as we are in a world where anyone testing positive has an obligation to isolate then that triggers a lot of protocols,” he added. “We might come to a point where that is no longer needed. But at this point in time it is. So we need to adapt, totally respecting all local regulations and health guidance.

“At this point we have the protocols to allow fans in the stadium. But we need to keep some distance with the athletes themselves because without athletes on the pitch there’s not much to watch. ”

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