Remaining 2020 women's Six Nations matches called off due to COVID-19 pandemic

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Women's Six Nations - England v Wales
Women's Six Nations - England v Wales

(Reuters) - The three remaining matches in the women's Six Nations championship have been cancelled due to the logistical complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers said on Tuesday.

The affected matches are Italy v Scotland, Wales v Scotland and France v Ireland but the table for the 2020 edition remains unchanged with England already crowned champions.

Six Nations CEO Ben Morel said his organisation explored every possible option before deciding to cancel.

"It is especially disappointing that these cancellations come at a time when there is such positive momentum around the women's game and for the women's Six Nations in particular," Morel said in a statement https://www.sixnationsrugby.com/2020/11/10/remaining-2020-womens-six-nations-matches-cancelled.

Champions England sealed the Grand Slam for a second year running after they trounced Italy 54-0 in Parma on Nov. 1 in their final match.

Scotland interim head coach Bryan Easson expressed his disappointment, saying the players were looking forward to build on a battling draw with France at Scotstoun Stadium last month.

"It's been a tough year for the squad, but we fully understand the decision taken," he added.

Meanwhile, World Rugby confirmed on Tuesday that the European qualification tournament for the women's World Cup next year has been postponed indefinitely due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

The event was due to be contested by Ireland, Italy, Scotland and the winner of the postponed Rugby Europe Women's Championship next month, with the victors qualifying for the World Cup to be held in New Zealand.

"With the COVID-19 situation in Europe presenting continued travel and quarantine challenges for some teams, the decision was made to postpone and identify an optimal opportunity for the tournament to be rescheduled in early 2021," World Rugby said.

"World Rugby and Rugby Europe continue to consult with unions and Six Nations Rugby regarding a window that provides a fair opportunity to deliver the Europe qualifier."

The sport's global body said in a statement https://www.world.rugby/news/602100/rugby-world-cup-2021-qualifying-update-europe that it would make an announcement regarding the rescheduling of the tournament in due course.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexander Smith and Christian Radnedge)