Saints get four points for cancelled match
NEWS: Premiership Rugby confirmed that Northampton Saints have been awarded four match points and Newcastle Falcons two following the cancellation of their Premiership Round Nine match.
The decision has been made by a Premiership Rugby Panel comprising Premiership Rugby chairman Andy Higginson, Chief Executive Darren Childs and Rugby Director Phil Winstanley.
The match was cancelled after Newcastle Falcons returned positive tests in this week’s round of PCR testing, with further players identified as close contacts and therefore placed into isolation.
All four positive cases were front five forwards which created concerns around transmission and a possible outbreak could not be ruled out. However, as all four cases had not been identified at the same testing round, this cannot be confirmed until further testing has been completed.
Therefore, following consultation with local Public Health England officials and the Professional Rugby Testing Oversight Group, the match was cancelled and the Newcastle Falcons training ground closed. Further testing will be conducted on Monday 15th February and the results will be discussed with the relevant authorities before club training recommences.
Due to the closure of the training facility and the isolation of its playing squad, Newcastle Falcons was no longer able to fulfil its fixture obligations under Premiership Regulations for its Round 9 match against Northampton Saints on Saturday 13th February 2021.
Premiership Regulations state that: “In the event that the PRL Panel decide that a Referred Match in the League Season is cancelled, or any governmental authority recommends or requires that a Match in the Premiership League Season is cancelled (in either case, a ” Cancelled League Season Match “), then (without prejudice to any action which may be taken under or relating to any Covid Minimum Operating Standards):
• the result of that Cancelled League Season Match shall be deemed to be 0-0; and
• four league points shall be allocated to the club who was able to play the Cancelled League Season Match and two league points shall be allocated to the other club.”
A Premiership Rugby spokesperson said: “The health and safety of players, staff, management and officials is our only priority, so following consultation with local Public Health England officials and the Professional Rugby Testing Oversight Group the correct decision was taken to call the game off.
“Northampton Saints have been awarded the win and four league points. Newcastle Falcons shall be deemed to have lost the match but awarded two league points. The match score shall be recorded as 0–0.
“We wish those affected at the Falcons a safe and speedy recovery.”