Coronavirus: PRO14 matches in Italy postponed due to restrictions
Last Updated: 24/02/20 1:08pm
Both PRO14 fixtures scheduled to take place in Italy this weekend have been postponed due to restrictions enforced by authorities dealing with the threat posed by the coronavirus outbreak.
Plans are under way to reschedule Zebre's clash with Welsh club Ospreys, and Irish side Ulster's visit to Benetton.
"To ensure the safety of our players and spectators PRO14 Rugby fully supports the preventative measures taken in Italy and will adhere to the directives from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and local authorities," read a statement on the PRO14 website.
"The current restrictions are in place until March 1 and PRO14 Rugby will remain in contact with the FIR (Italian Union), Zebre Rugby Club, Benetton Rugby and World Rugby to monitor (the) situation on a daily basis."
Restrictions on public gatherings and sporting events put in place by the Italian authorities apply in the Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto regions.
A Women's Six Nations game and four Serie A football fixtures were postponed over the weekend.
In addition, fixtures in Italy's national rugby championship, Top 12, and all domestic rugby activities have also been postponed ahead of next weekend.
Italy is the host of Europe's biggest outbreak of the virus, with the number of people infected with COVID-19 having jumped above 200, with five people dying.