Rugby for the 2019/20 season of the Guinness PRO14 has now been suspended on an indefinite basis due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and this year's final due to take place at Cardiff City Stadium on June 20 has been cancelled.
Celtic Rugby's board members, meeting via teleconference this week, have agreed that only if a strict list of criteria was fulfilled could the championship recommence, and no decision on a definitive re-commencement date can be made until four key criteria is met within all the competing territories.
Those criteria are:
Public Health Authorities cease to prohibit the resumption of sport and group training
Travel restrictions between our territories are lifted
No forced isolation or quarantine orders are in force when visiting our territories
Player welfare is safeguarded, including requirement for a suitable pre-recommencement training period, to be established in conjunction with the high-performance personnel at our participating unions and teams
According to the PRO14, proposals for the restart the season will be reviewed in the near future.
In a statement, it says: "PRO14 Rugby is working with key stakeholders to carefully examine several proposals that can be implemented and delivered in order to close out the season – albeit at a later date.
"Should any final be played as part of the 2019/20 season it will be hosted by the team with highest ranking based upon league records from this campaign. When positive indicators on the criteria listed above PRO14 Rugby will provide another update.Everyone across the Guinness PRO14 would urge fans and everyone involved in the sport of rugby to heed the directions from their local health authorities regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and play their part in staying safe."