9 January 2022
Premiership Rugby have confirmed that London Irish have been awarded four match points and Bath Rugby two following the cancellation of their Gallagher Premiership Rugby Round 12 game. The match score shall be recorded as 0–0 and London Irish awarded one more win in the league table.
The decision has been made by a Premiership Rugby Panel comprising Premiership Rugby chair Martyn Phillips and Rugby Director Phil Winstanley.
The match was cancelled after Bath Rugby were unable to field a team for the match which was due to be played on Monday 3 January, due to the lack of front row forwards caused by positive Covid-19 tests. Premiership Regulations state that: "In the event that the Premiership Rugby 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: “On Saturday 1st January 2022, Bath Rugby contacted Premiership Rugby with an update in respect of player availability ahead of its Round 12 Gallagher Premiership match against London Irish. This update included further positive Covid-19 tests from results received on 30 December 2021, bringing the total of COVID absences at the club to 18.
"The Panel was satisfied that Bath Rugby did all they could to fulfil the fixture, trying to find a replacement hooker, which was key to the match being cancelled. This search involved speaking with clubs from the Welsh regions, the RFU Championship and a number of the major rugby player agencies. Due to the club’s inability to have two hookers available, the Round 12 Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between London Irish and Bath Rugby was cancelled.
“The health and safety of our players is always a priority for Premiership Rugby. Premiership Regulation 3.4(b) requires a Club to have at least two players in each hooker, tight head prop and loose head prop who are suitably trained and experienced (totalling six front row players). The Regulation does not allow the match to be played in the event that a Club is unable to field those six players. The Panel is satisfied that Bath Rugby’s inability to fulfil its fixture obligations was as a direct result of Covid-19.”
Click here to read the clauses about Covid in the Premiership Rugby regulations