Ireland’s Six Nations home game against Italy on Saturday week could be set for disruption following a Government review into mass gatherings due to the ongoing spread across Europe of Covid-19 coronavirus.
Italy are due at Aviva Stadium on March 7 and could have as many as 5,000 supporters in tow but reports of five deaths from coronavirus in the north of the country and more than 200 confirmed infections have resulted in widespread postponements of sporting events there.
The Italy v Wales Women’s Six Nations fixture set for Milan last Sunday was postponed and Ulster’s PRO14 clash with Benetton in Treviso this weekend, as well as Zebre v Ospreys in Parma have also been called off. Munster played Zebre in Milan last Friday before the extent of the confirmed cases had been realised.
“The rugby game is something that needs considerable consideration,” Health Minister Simon Harris said yesterday.
The weekend’s activities have shown that there is still an awful lot unknown about the coronavirus and about the path it might take.
“There will be some big decisions that have to be made in the coming days including mass gatherings. Most particularly, I’m thinking of the Ireland-Italy rugby game.”