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France players leave the national team training complex after the cancellation of the Fiji game © AFP/File Anne-Christine POUJOULAT

Rugby

France awarded victory for Covid-cancelled Fiji match

LONDON, United Kingdom, Nov 17 – France have been awarded a bonus-point 28-0 victory over Fiji after their Autumn Nations Cup match was cancelled due to several Fijian players testing positive for coronavirus, tournament organisers announced Tuesday.

The match had been called off after five Fijians tested positive, and although Fiji were not held to blame the organisers said under the rules the team responsible for the cancellation forfeits the match.

“Following last week’s cancellation of the France v Fiji match, the tournament organisers of the Autumn Nations Cup have confirmed a decision to award a 28-0 victory with bonus point to France,” read the organisers’ statement.

“Whilst no fault has been apportioned to Fiji Rugby, the competition rules provide that if a team is primarily responsible for a match not taking place, a 28-0 victory will be awarded to the opposition that could have played the match.

“We wish the affected Fiji players well as they continue their recovery and are working closely with the Fiji team, to ensure that they are able to field a competitive team against Italy (November 21).

“Further updates will follow once additional rounds of testing have been completed.”

France’s next match is their toughest test, a trip to play Scotland, who inflicted their only defeat of the Six Nations back in March.

The Autumn Nations Cup is a product of Covid-19.

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It replaces the end of year schedule that usually sees southern hemisphere giants New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, none of whom are venturing across the Equator this time on health grounds, tour Europe.

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