EPCR have been informed by Stade Français Paris that due to the club’s concerns regarding the COVID-19 status of their players and staff, they believe it is unwise to fulfil their Challenge Cup, preliminary stage fixture against Cardiff Blues scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday, 20 December) at Rodney Parade, and EPCR have decided that the match should therefore be cancelled.
Stade Français Paris played against Benetton Rugby in Round 1 of the tournament last weekend, and since then, Benetton Rugby have recorded a number of positive tests for COVID-19 among their players and staff. Benetton Rugby’s match this weekend against Agen has also been cancelled.
Although there is no evidence that any Stade Français Paris players or staff were exposed to the virus during the Round 1 fixture, and they have all subsequently tested negative for the virus, there are doubts over the COVID-19 status of the travelling matchday and staff which have prompted the club to report their concerns to EPCR.
Although a Medical Risk Assessment Committee was satisfied that tomorrow’s fixture at Rodney Parade could go ahead safely, Stade Français Paris were reluctant to travel to Wales.
Following the decision to cancel, a Match Result Resolution Committee comprising EPCR Director General, Vincent Gaillard, EPCR Board member, Andrea Rinaldo, EPCR COVID-19 Manager, Tom Walsh, EPCR Chief Financial Officer, Anthony Lepage, and EPCR Head of Governance and Regulations, Liam McTiernan, was convened today (Saturday, 19 December) to determine the outcome of the fixture.
The committee considered all the factors and Cardiff Blues were deemed to be the winners, and were awarded five match points on a scoreline of 28-0.
EPCR would again like to emphasise that blame was not considered as a factor during the deliberations, and the committee’s decision was made with a view to facilitating the completion of this season’s Challenge Cup in unprecedented circumstances.
DECISION OF THE MATCH RESULT RESOLUTION COMMITTEE
Cardiff Blues 28 (4 converted tries) Stade Français Paris 0
Match points – Cardiff Blues 5 Stade Français Paris 0