The 2021 Guinness Six Nations Looks Like It Could Be Delayed
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The 2021 Guinness Six Nations championship could be delayed according to Wales boss Wayne Pivac as organisers look to get fans back into stadiums.
Next year’s tournament is scheduled to begin in February as per usual but initial talks have taken place about potentially pushing it back as unions suffer record losses on the back on the ongoing world crisis.
England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU) has projected a £138m loss should fans not be allowed in stadiums, and the other nations have similar concerns with IRFU chief Phillip Browne revealing last month that their net losses are forecasted to amount to in excess of €30 million.
The latest guidance on when fans might return to stadiums varies across the six countries but in the UK fans are not expected to be allowed back in until at least March.
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Episode 8 has arrived – a full day early this week featuring Eddie Jones, Jamie Heaslip, Ronan Kelleher and Felipe Contepomi. 🎙 – Jason & Jamie Heaslip look back on the Irish provinces in the PRO14 over the weekend and look forward to the next round. ☘️ – Munster's last-minute heroics, a tough game for Ulster, the Bundee Aki show and business as usual for Leinster. 🏉 – Felipe Contepomi on Johnny Sexton's injury, the tighthead situation with Porter/Furlong and if the PRO14 is adequate preparation. 🤔 – Ronan Kelleher on his Ireland ambitions and finally playing an away game. ✈️ – The absolutely crazy fiasco with Sale Sharks in the English Premiership. 🤯 – Eddie Jons on rugby's financial problems, Manu Tuilagi's injury and adapting to the new breakdown interpretations. 🏴 Available now wherever you get your podcasts. 🎧
Speaking on Tuesday, Wales coach Wayne Pivac said:
“Who knows when the next Six Nations will be played? I think discussions are ongoing, and that’s the smart thing to be doing.
“Obviously, we are in a position now with no crowds – or very little crowds – and most unions will be in the same boat.
“They will be desperate not only for the tournament to go ahead, but also to make sure that there are crowds in the future so that we can meet our financial obligations to the game.”
Six Nations chief executive Ben Morel meanwhile told The Times that a delay was “one of the options” being considered.
“We have to look at everything right now,” he said.
“We need fans back. I wish that moving the Six Nations would solve all this, but you cannot say that.”