6 Nations set for long hiatus after Wales-Scotland postponed

CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — The Welsh Rugby Union insisted its Six Nations game against Scotland was going ahead. Less than five hours later it wasn’t.

The WRU caved in on Friday afternoon to the coronavirus fears that are cancelling or postponing global sports.

The Wales-Scotland match on Saturday in Cardiff, a 74,000-seat sellout, was the last remaining tournament match to be postponed. Days earlier, the other games scheduled for what was supposed to be the climactic final day of the Six Nations — Italy-England in Rome and France-Ireland in Paris — were also put off.

“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries,” the WRU said in a statement.

“Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue, a postponement became the only viable option.”

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones was due to equal Richie McCaw’s test caps world record of 148. His next opportunity could be on June 27 in Japan.

Scotland was already in Cardiff, going through the captain’s run at Principality Stadium.

“While it is disappointing the fixture could not go ahead there are clearly wider public safety issues unfolding at this unprecedented time,” the Scottish Rugby Union said.

Four matches in total have been postponed in the Six Nations, and are yet to be rescheduled.

The last time the Six Nations wasn’t completed on schedule was in 2001, when Ireland was hit by foot and mouth disease.

The Women’s Six Nations suffered six postponements.

The Wales-Scotland Under-20s game did go ahead on Friday, without spectators at Colwyn Bay.