European Champions Cup matches to be rescheduled after Paris attacks

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European Champions Cup organisers hope to announce within the next couple of days new dates for the matches postponed in France this weekend in the wake of the attacks in Paris which left at least 128 dead.

Four matches in the Champions Cup, including Racing 92’s tie with Glasgow in Paris, were called off out of respect for the three days of national mourning called by the French president François Hollande while there were security concerns over sporting events attracting thousands of spectators.

The Warriors had said on Friday night that their players were safe in a hotel on the outskirts of Paris as they waited to learn if the game would go ahead. Glasgow had travelled to France for their Champions Cup opener against Racing, which had been due to take place at the Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir in Colombes outside Paris on Saturday afternoon. “We’re all safe in our team hotel on the outskirts of Paris,” said a team spokesman.

The executive committee of the tournament organisers will meet on Monday to discuss the rescheduling with the planning starting as soon as the postponements were announced.

Under last year’s reorganisation of European club rugby, the thee leagues involved effectively run the tournament and the fixture rearrangements should be a smoother process than in the past.

The one difficulty may be in finding a new date for the match between Toulon and Bath, which was due to have been played on Sunday. After starting a month late because of the Rugby World Cup, there is no slack in the Premiership’s fixture list. Bath are at Leicester at the end of the month in a televised match and face Northampton at home the following week.

Organisers want the postponed matches to be played as soon as possible, before the final two rounds of group games in January which, with the Christmas and New Year period before then and two European weekends in December, effectively restricts the new dates to three weekends.

The executive committee will also discuss the scheduled fixtures in France next weekend, three in the Champions Cup, including Stade Français’ match against Munster in Paris, and five in the Challenge Cup. The hope is that all the matches will go ahead, but advice will be taken from the security forces in France.

“European Professional Club Rugby extends its sincerest sympathies to everyone affected by the Paris attacks and as a mark of respect, all clubs competing in this weekend’s remaining Champions Cup and Challenge Cup fixtures in other territories have been asked to observe a minute’s silence the games kick-off,” said the organisers in a statement.

Powered by article was written by Paul Rees, for The Observer on Saturday 14th November 2015 17.03 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010