European rugby group stages abandoned, straight to knockouts

French government blocked Top 14 clubs from competing in cross-border competition this month due to fears over new strain of coronavirus; remaining two pool rounds were initially postponed but Premiership Rugby chief executive Darren Childs says they have now been abandoned

Last Updated: 14/01/21 4:56pm

The Champions Cup and Challenge Cup will move straight to the knockout phase

The Champions Cup and Challenge Cup will move straight to the knockout phase

The Champions Cup and Challenge Cup will move straight to the knockout phase

Europe’s final two rounds of group matches will be cancelled, with the Champions and Challenge Cups moving straight into the knockout phase, Premiership Rugby has confirmed.

The French government has blocked Top 14 clubs from competing in cross-border competition this month due to fears over the strain of coronavirus which has sent the number of cases in England soaring.

The remaining two pool rounds were initially postponed but Premiership Rugby chief executive Darren Childs says they have now been abandoned because of the lack of space in an already-full schedule.

Tournament organisers EPCR will decide within the fortnight what format the competitions should take, with a knockout phase launched by a round of 16 the likely option.

“The decision was made very quickly by the executive at EPCR that we would not try to reschedule those games,” Childs said.

More to follow…

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