European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup play-offs and finals suspended

The finals were scheduled to be played in May
The finals were scheduled to be played in May
©PA

The European Professional Club Rugby has confirmed that the play-offs and the finals of Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup have been suspended following the pandemic coronavirus.

The quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup involved Toulon, Scarlets, Leicester, Castres, Bordeaux, Edinburgh, Bristol and Dragons was scheduled to play in the first week of April while the semi-finals were scheduled to be played on first week of May. The final of the tournament was set to be played Marseille.

Similarly, the Stade Velodrome was also the host for the Champions Cup final on 23rd May with Clermont, Racing 92, Exeter Chiefs, Northampton Saints, Leinster, Saracens, Toulouse and Ulster managing to reach play-off.

"Following a conference call yesterday (Monday 23 March), the EPCR Board can reconfirm the suspension of this season's Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournaments and has furthermore decided to postpone the semi-final matches, as well as the 2020 Marseille finals, which were due to be played on the weekends of 1/2/3 May and 22/23 May respectively," said EPCR in a statement released.

"In making the decision, the Board is abiding by the official directives and recommendations of the relevant authorities in its territories to restrict the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In light of the earlier postponement of its quarter-final matches and with fixtures in Europe's professional league competitions currently suspended due to the public health crisis, EPCR believes it necessary to provide as much clarity as possible to all stakeholders regarding the knockout stages of its tournaments.

"To that end, EPCR is working with the leagues and unions to restructure a conclusion to its season as part of a wider rescheduling of the remainder of the season in Europe, with all contingencies underpinned by the requirement to protect the health and welfare of players, club staff, match officials, supporters and the wider rugby community.

"EPCR remains committed to completing the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season, and it is planned to reschedule the quarter-final and semi-final matches, as well as the Marseille finals, in line with fixtures in the professional league competitions, subject to advice from government and local authorities"

Earlier, the RFU had cancelled all the domestic tournaments except Premiership in the ongoing season while the Ireland, Wales and Scotland boards also have suspended their remainder of domestic season.

 

2018-19 European Rugby Champions Cup Points Table