Six Nations – Italy v England: Federation still planning for Rome finale

Italian great Sergio Parisse, whose initial intended farewell game for his country was cancelled because of Typhoon Hagibis at last year’s Rugby World Cup, plans to play a final Test against England

The Italian Rugby Federation has not yet received any indication from its government that the men’s Six Nations match with England in Rome should be called off because of the coronavirus.

England’s men’s, women’s and under-20 sides are all scheduled to play in Italy on 14 and 15 March.

The women’s game is to be played in Padua, one of the lockdown areas, but Rome has yet to be affected.

The Ireland v Italy games on 7 and 8 March were postponed on Wednesday.

The Irish government had advised that all games – men’s, women’s and under-20s – should be rearranged.

Officials are meeting at a pre-arranged World Rugby summit at the start of next week, with Six Nations unions set to take this opportunity to continue discussions around rescheduling the cancelled games.

While France can still clinch the Grand Slam, if they were to lose one of their remaining matches then the men’s Championship may not have a winner unless Ireland’s game with Italy in Dublin is rearranged.

Six Nations sources have indicated that matches will only be called off in the event of a governmental directive.

While the Italy against England women’s match is under more threat because it is being staged in Padua in Veneto, the virus has not yet spread to Rome, where the men’s Italy against England game is taking place.

The Italy against Scotland match in the women’s Championship was called off last weekend because it was being staged in the Lombardy region, which is one of the affected areas.

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