Coronavirus pandemic sees PRO14 suspended indefinitely

The PRO14 has now been suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic which has hit Europe particularly hard, organisers announced on Thursday. 

Celtric Rugby DAC, the company that runs the competition, also confirmed that they had cancelled the final which was set for Cardiff on 20 June. Should the pandemic ease up, however, they would look to restart it later in the year, if possible.

"Proposals regarding how to restart the season will be reviewed in the near future. PRO14 Rugby is working with key stakeholders to carefully examine several proposals that can be implemented and delivered in order to close out the season - albeit at a later date," said the statement.

Two South African teams take part in the tournament, the Southern Kings and the Cheetahs.

FULL PRO14 STATEMENT

"The suspension of the 2019/20 season of the Guinness PRO14 is now on an indefinite basis due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The board of Celtic Rugby DAC met by teleconference this week and agreed upon a strict list of criteria that would enable the Championship to recommence. However, no decision on a definitive re-commencement date can be made until four key criteria can be met within our respective competing territories:

  • Public Health Authorities cease to prohibit the resumption of sport and group training
  • Travel restrictions between our territories are lifted
  • No forced isolation or quarantine orders are in force when visiting our territories
  • Player welfare is safeguarded, including requirement for a suitable pre-recommencement training period, to be established in conjunction with the high-performance personnel at our participating unions and teams

Due to the evolving situation, unfortunately the board had to take the further decision to cancel the PRO14 Final at Cardiff City Stadium, set to take place on 20 June. Refunds will be made automatically to all who have already purchased tickets.

Proposals regarding how to restart the season will be reviewed in the near future. PRO14 Rugby is working with key stakeholders to carefully examine several proposals that can be implemented and delivered in order to close out the season - albeit at a later date.

Should any final played as part of the 2019/20 season will be hosted by the team with highest ranking based upon league records from this campaign.

When positive indicators on the criteria listed above PRO14 Rugby will provide another update.

Everyone across the PRO14 would urge fans and everyone involved in the sport of rugby to heed the directions from their local health authorities regarding the Covid-19 outbreak and play their part in staying safe."