This Challenge Cup quarter-final will not go ahead due to positive tests amongst Castres squad

Leicester v Castres cancelled due to Covid-19 cases

The European Challenge Cup quarter-final due to take place between Leicester Tigers and Castres at Welford Road on Sunday 20 September has been cancelled.

Competition organisers EPCR took the decision after French club Castres confirmed that three players and one staff member had tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of their planned departure to England.

As the match cannot go ahead, Leicester will move through to the semi-finals next weekend, where they will meet the winners of the Toulon v Scarlets quarter-final.

An EPCR statement said: “The decision followed a meeting of a Medical Committee comprising medical leads from the unions, league bodies and both clubs, and subsequent independent medical advice.

It was decided on medical advice that the quarter-final could not go ahead safely in the circumstances and as a consequence, Castres have to forfeit the match and Leicester will qualify for the Challenge Cup semi-finals.”

Leicester have struggled for form since rugby’s restart but did achieve a confidence-boosting win over Midlands rivals Northampton in their last fixture.

There is an extra carrot for the Tigers in the Challenge Cup this year as the winners will qualify for next season’s Champions Cup if they haven’t finished in the top eight of their league.

With Leicester currently 11th in the Gallagher Premiership and only able to climb to ninth with two matches remaining, winning the Challenge Cup is their only route into Europe’s elite event in 2020-21.

Related: New European Champions Cup format for 2020-21

Their semi-final will take place next Saturday, 26 September (kick-off 8pm UK & Ireland time). If Toulon beat Scarlets in their quarter-final on Saturday night, the French club will host the semi-final. If Scarlets win, the semi-final will be played at Welford Road.

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