3:59 p.m. – December 16, 2020
While the workforce of the Exeter Chiefs must face a major wave of contamination by the coronavirus, the EPCR could soon decide to cancel the trip of the English club to Toulouse this Sunday in the Champions Cup.
Will the coronavirus disrupt the progress of the group stage of the Champions Cup? While the EPCR allowed the game between the Dragons and the Wasps to be held last weekend despite the discovery of several cases within the workforce and staff of the Welsh team, the holding of one of the meetings of the 2nd day is seriously questioned. Indeed, according to corroborating sources cited by Rugbyrama, there is a very strong risk that the organizing body of the European rugby competitions will soon announce the cancellation of the match between Toulouse and Exeter, scheduled for this Sunday at the Stade Ernest-Wallon. Indeed, the English club is currently facing a strong epidemic outbreak within its workforce, which would not have carried out training on Wednesday.
A decision that could set a precedent?
The Chiefs, reigning European champions following their victory against Racing 92 in the final of the 2019-2020 season played on October 17 at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol, would count no less than fifteen of their members affected by the coronavirus, further weakening their workforce and potentially posing a risk of further spread in the event of participation in the meeting this Sunday. If the EPCR had compromised in the case of the Dragons-Wasps meeting, the sources cited by Rugbyrama suggest that the European body would be on the verge of making an unprecedented decision with the cancellation of the meeting which, in such a tight schedule as professional rugby can be this season, might not be rescheduled in the weeks to come. An officialization of this decision would be imminent by the EPCR, which could thus give a lost match to the Exeter Chiefs, dealing a perhaps fatal blow to the ambitions of the English club to make the double in the Champions Cup.