London Irish match off because of Covid outbreak

London Irish’s Premiership clash with Bath on Boxing Day has been postponed after members of the Exiles squad tested positive for COVID-19.

Irish returned a small number of positive results following this week’s round of testing, but when further players presented with symptoms on Tuesday, the decision was made to call off the game after discussions with Public Health England.

The match was due to see new signing, Australia lock Rob Simmons, make his long-awaited debut alongside Wallabies second-row partner Adam Coleman, who returned to action following shoulder surgery in the European Challenge Cup win over Pau last Sunday.

“We were really looking forward to going to The Rec on Boxing Day, so we’re incredibly disappointed that we’re unable to fulfil the fixture,” said director of rugby Declan Kidney.

“I’m really disappointed for the players, as they’ve acted professionally, following all the relevant guidelines, but this is the situation we find ourselves in at the moment, as the country continues to try and navigate its way through the pandemic.”

A Premiership Rugby panel will now be convened to determine the allocation of points, but it is likely Bath will be awarded four points and Irish two with the home side being in a position to fulfil the fixture.

The other four matches in round four of the Premiership go ahead as scheduled.

Irish club officials are hopeful the home match against Northampton on January 3 will be able to go ahead.