Champions Cup last eight postponed due to coronavirus

Rugby ball
Rugby ball

The quarter-finals of this year's Champions and Challenge Cups have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) said on Monday.

Four of the matches originally scheduled for 3-5 April were set to be played in France, where the government has closed schools, bars and restaurants and most shops except for food stories and pharmacies.

"Amid growing public health concerns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the decision was taken during a conference call today (Monday, 16 March) to postpone the eight matches on the weekend in question and to suspend the European club rugby season," EPCR said in a statement.

"EPCR's priority is the health and welfare of players and club staff, and an update regarding the knockout stages of the tournaments will be communicated to all stakeholders as soon as practicable," it added.

Clermont will host fellow French side Racing 92, Top 14 holders Toulouse will welcome Ulster, reigning European champions Saracens head to Dublin to face Leinster and Exeter play Northampton on the English south coast.

In the second-tier tournament the Scarlets travel to French giants Toulon, Top 14 leaders Bordeaux-Begles face Edinburgh, Premiership outfit Leicester play Castres and the Dragons make the trip across the Severn Bridge to Bristol.

Domestic competitions across Europe, which has become the epicentre of the virus, have already been put on hold.

loading... Live
Brighton and Hove Albion 1
Manchester United 2
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 7819 votes
Cricket
11% - 1968 votes
Football
19% - 3575 votes
Athletics
3% - 464 votes
Boxing
1% - 171 votes
Cycling
2% - 441 votes
Golf
5% - 915 votes
Motorsport
8% - 1545 votes
Tennis
3% - 614 votes
Water sports
1% - 168 votes
American sports
1% - 217 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 571 votes
Vote