Premiership Rugby has confirmed that Leicester Tigers have been awarded four points and Northampton Saints two following the cancellation of their Gallagher Premiership Rugby Round Six match between the clubs.
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 Saints returned a number of positive tests in the round of PCR testing, with further players identified as close contacts and therefore placed into isolation.
In the context of the number of cases, Public Health England could not rule out if this was the start of a Covid-19 outbreak within the club. This was of particular concern in respect of the increased infectiousness of the new variant and the potential impact from a player and staff welfare point of view, together with the wider public health of their families and the community, it was considered unwise for the club to continue training.
Saints were advised to keep the club’s training facility closed and not to play the Round Six match.
Due to the advice of Public Health England, Northampton Saints were no longer able to fulfil fixture obligations under Premiership Regulations for Round 6 on January 9. A further round of testing will be undertaken on Monday, January 11.
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):
- The result of that Cancelled League Season Match shall be deemed to be 0-0
- 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 the recommendation from Public Health England that Northampton Saints’ Gallagher Premiership Rugby Round Six fixture against Leicester Tigers should be cancelled as a result of Covid-19, Tigers have been awarded the win and four league points. Northampton Saints 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 following advice from Public Health England the correct decision was taken to call the game off."