Connacht’s season cut short due to coronavirus concerns
By Declan Harte
Connacht Rugby’s 2019/20 season has been suspended indefinitely with immediate effect following the suspension of the Pro 14 season.
Irish Rugby has also announced the domestic season has been cancelled.
This is due to ongoing concerns over the coronavirus. The pandemic has caused sporting events across Galway, and the globe, to be cancelled or postponed indefinitely.
The cancellation of the domestic game applies to all incomplete national and provincial competitions. It means that there will be no promotion or relegation.
All cup competitions will be shared by finalists where competitions have reached that fixture.
No league winners will be awarded, and cup competitions will otherwise have no champion.
IRFU Director of Rugby Development Colin McEntee said it was a tough decision, but that is the most satisfying conclusion to the season that could be achieved given the circumstances.
“The decision to end the domestic rugby season for 2019/20 season has not been made lightly. All options were discussed and the IRFU is satisfied it has arrived at the only equitable solution,” said Mr McEntee.
“These are challenging times for us all and we know clubs will be impacted by this directive, but we will look back at this season as one where we put the physical welfare of our rugby community above all else.
“Clubs are now in a position to make plans for the 2020/21 season. We look forward to marking the 30th anniversary of the All-Ireland League.”
The 2019/20 Pro 14 season started four weeks later than it would traditionally, with the final originally scheduled for June 26.
Connacht won the competition, known then as the Pro 12, in 2016. The club still had a chance at reaching this year’s playoffs before the outbreak of coronavirus in Ireland caused the suspension of the tournament last week.