England’s final Six Nations clash with Italy in Rome next weekend has been postponed by the spread of coronavirus.
Tournament organisers had the option of either playing the game behind closed doors, or postponing the match until later in the year. They have chose the latter option.
Official confirmation is expected from Six Nations later today.
The decision is influenced by the Italian Rugby Federation’s desire to retain the revenue that would be generated by a huge international fixture against Eddie Jones’ England.
If the option of playing behind closed doors was selected, they would have missed out on gate receipts for a 73,000 sell-out.
This is the second game of the Six Nations to be postponed by the coronavirus. Ireland vs Italy was set to be played in Dublin this Saturday but was also called off on health grounds.
Sport in Italy is taking a blow as a whole with the entire Serie A league playing their football matches behind closed doors until April 3. This has affected enormous games, such as Juventus vs AC Milan.
Italy is currently the European country that has been most affected by the coronavirus, with over 100 deaths and more than 3,000 people infected.