Borders rugby clubs ponder over playing or not before suspension takes force

Individual rugby clubs are being left to decide for themselves whether or not to play matches scheduled for this weekend, before a suspension announced by Scottish Rugby comes into effect on Sunday evening.

Friday, 13th March 2020, 3:25 pm
Rugby in Scotland is being temporarily suspended, from 6pm this Sunday, by Scottish Rugby.

Scottish Rugby has today (Friday) taken the decision to suspend all rugby in Scotland following the evolving Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation.

In light of government restrictions on public gatherings and the resulting pressure on emergency services and healthcare provision, Scottish Rugby has decided that with effect from Sunday, March 15, at 6pm, there will be a short period without domestic competition (or training) while a further assessment can be made.

This will be in effect up to, and including, March 29.

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However, a spokesman said it would be left to the discretion of individual clubs to decide whether to play games scheduled for tonight, tomorrow and early on Sunday.

Pertaining to the Borders, games scheduled for tomorrow include Tennent’s league fixtures Marr v Hawick, Boroughmuir v Gala, Forrester v Duns and Portobello v Hawick Linden, all 3pm kick-offs.

Scotland’s U20 Six Nations fixture tonight (Friday) versus Wales will still go ahead at 7.35pm in Colwyn Bay, behind closed doors., it has been decided.

Sunday’s suspension, however, will affect rugby in all domestic league and cup fixtures, training, festivals and other rugby events, as well as the FOSROC Super6 tournament, which come under Scottish Rugby’s jurisdiction.

During this lay-off period, Scottish Rugby will undertake further assessment and advise on any further action that may be required.

The Scottish Rugby Age-Grade Programme (male and female) will also be cancelled, with immediate effect, for the remainder of the season. This includes all training sessions which were planned for the age-grade teams, as well as all other age-grade internationals for the rest of the season. A Scottish Rugby spokesman said: “We have taken on board all expert medical advice before now and we are taking a precautionary approach to give time to assess what the impact of coronavirus will be on Scottish society in the coming weeks, before deciding on next steps.

“This decision has been taken with the best interest of everyone involved in the game and in support of the country’s work to address the impact of coronavirus.”

An U18 fixture between Scotland and England, due to be played earlier today at Mansfield Park, Hawick, was also called off.

“The health and safety of the teams, staff and supporters is paramount and it is in the best interests of everyone that the game is not played at this time,” said a spokesman. “Scottish Rugby thanks Hawick RFC, as the host club for the match, as well as supporters, for their patience and understanding during this time.”