3 January 2021
Premiership Rugby can confirm that Northampton Saints have been awarded four points and London Irish two points following the cancellation of their Gallagher Premiership Rugby Round Five 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 London Irish returned a number of positive tests in this week’s round of PCR testing, with further players identified as close contacts and therefore placed into isolation. Following consultation with Public Health England, London Irish was advised to keep the Club’s training facility closed and not to play its Round 5 match against Northampton Saints as there could not be any certainty that the outbreak was under control.
This meant that London Irish were unable to fulfil a fixture as a result of Covid-19, and the match was cancelled. A further round of testing will be undertaken on Monday 4 January.
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) then:
- the result of that Cancelled League Season Match shall be deemed to be 0-0; and
- four league points shall be allocated to 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: "Following London Irish’s inability to fulfil their Gallagher Premiership Rugby Round Five fixture against Northampton Saints as a result of Covid-19, Saints have been awarded the win and four league points. London Irish shall be deemed to have lost the match but awarded two league points. The match score shall be recorded as 0–0.
“The health and safety of players, staff, management, officials and supporters is our only priority, so the correct decision was taken to call the game off."
The club will be making no further comment.