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Fiji’s Autumn Nations Cup rugby match against Italy has been cancelled with the touring side ravaged by Covid-19.
Tournament organisers confirmed this weekend’s match in Ancona was off, after the latest round of tests returned 29 positives within the Fiji camp on Tuesday.
“The tournament organiser remains in constant contact with the Fijian squad to address the situation. The main priority at present is the welfare of all players and management,” the statement said.
Former Crusaders winger Nemani Nadolo posted on Twitter: “What doesn’t break us will only make us stronger... we’re OK if anyone is concern [sic].”
New coach Vern Cotter’s side – with Kiwi assistant coaches Daryl Gibson and Jason Ryan – are yet to play in the Nations Cup. Their opener against France scheduled for Vannes last weekend was also cancelled, with France awarded a 28-0 win with a bonus point.
“Whilst no fault has been apportioned to Fiji Rugby, the competition rules provide that if a team is primarily responsible for a match not taking place, a 28-0 victory will be awarded to the opposition that could have played the match,” organisers said.
Fiji’s next match, against Scotland at Murrayfield on November 28, must also be in serious doubt.
The Autumn Nations Cup was created this year to resume international rugby in the Northern Hemisphere, with the Six Nations teams joined by Georgia and Fiji.
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