Coronavirus concerns mean Gloucester’s match against Northampton is off

The Gallagher Premiership match between Gloucester and Northampton has been cancelled due to a number of Saints players self-isolating following Tuesday’s clash with Sale.

Sale’s match with Worcester had already been postponed after 16 of their players tested positive for coronavirus and, in accordance with Public Health England guidance, much of Northampton’s squad are now self-isolating.

That has left Northampton with an insufficient number of front-row players to fulfil the fixture and, in line with the regulations, Gloucester have been awarded a 20-0 victory and five league points.

Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks – Gallagher Premiership – Franklin’s Gardens
Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks – Gallagher Premiership – Franklin’s Gardens

Darren Childs, Chief Executive at Premiership Rugby said: “When we embarked on Rugby Restart back in August we said from the outset that the health and safety of everyone involved with Premiership Rugby was our priority.

“We completed eight of the nine rounds of Gallagher Premiership Rugby without losing a match so it is with great regret that we make this announcement today.

“We understand and fully sympathise with Northampton Saints’ position. They are in this position due to no fault of their own, but unfortunately they cannot fulfil the fixture.”

It is with deep frustration that we can confirm that Sunday's scheduled Gallagher Premiership fixture against Gloucester will not take place.

— Northampton Saints 😇 (@SaintsRugby) October 3, 2020

Northampton expressed “deep frustration” at being forced to forfeit through no fault of their own, adding that their request to register loan players in order to complete the fixture had been denied.

The club said in a statement: “As soon as we were aware of the situation, we asked for permission to register loan players beyond the normal deadline in order that we could attempt to complete the fixture.

“We were advised that this dispensation will not be granted. We therefore have no option to bring in additional players as cover.

“We are extremely disappointed that our season has ended this way; an outbreak of coronavirus at another Premiership Club has left us with no viable option other than to forfeit our game.”

Northampton, who were left with just two members of the front row who are not required to self-isolate, added that none of their players are currently symptomatic.