The 2021 Women’s and U-20 Six Nations Championships have been postponed
SIX Nations Rugby today confirmed that the 2021 Women’s and Under-20 Championships will not take place in the regular Six Nations window of February and March this year.
However, Six Nations Rugby has also confirmed that plans to stage the Men’s Guinness Six Nations Championship remain as scheduled.
Six Nations have stated that the Women’s Championship will instead be scheduled in revised windows later this spring or early summer.
Six Nations Rugby confirmed it will finalise the respective timings and formats for both the Women’s and Under-20s competitions in consultation with all Unions, broadcast partners and stakeholders, with full details to be announced by the end of January.
Ben Morel, CEO, Six Nations Rugby Limited said: “We are fiercely committed to the promotion and development of rugby at all levels, particularly the women’s game where we see such exciting opportunity for growth.
"This is not a decision that we rushed into and we are confident that in looking at a new later window, we will be in a far stronger position to deliver two fantastic tournaments, delivering exciting rugby for fans, and ensuring the safest possible environment in which to stage them for our players.
“The dynamic nature of the external environment and the ongoing challenges it presents, particularly for sports and teams of amateur status, meant a collective agreement to push both Championships to new later windows was prudent to ensure, where possible, that both competitions can be played safely and without interruption in 2021.
“It was also important that the decision was made in a timely manner to allow players and management to plan accordingly.”
Whilst closely monitoring the situation, Six Nations Rugby also confirms plans to stage the Men’s Guinness Six Nations Championship remain as scheduled.
Following the successful completion of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations and Autumn Nations Cup, Six Nations Rugby is in constant dialogue with each of its Governmental authorities and is further reinforcing its Covid-19 protocols.
The Championship kicks off on Saturday 6th February, with Andy Farrell‘s Ireland opening their Six Nations campaign against Wales in Cardiff on Sunday 7th February.
Following the announcement that the 2021 Women's Six Nations Championship is to be postponed, the IRFU say it will continue to work with tournament organisers on confirming a fixture schedule as soon as is practicable.
"The IRFU is committed to the safety of its players, all participating teams and everyone in our community," the union said in a statement.
Speaking about the announcement, IRFU Director of Women's and Sevens Rugby, Anthony Eddy said:
"This is disappointing news that we fully accept is in the best interests of everyone involved. Our training programme is reviewed on an ongoing basis to adapt to ever changing circumstances and our players have demonstrated a commendable attitude and resilience in this regard while adhering to strict safety protocols.
"We will also continue to work with World Rugby to ensure our Rugby World Cup 2021 qualification games can take place in a timely and safe manner."