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Keith Wood on COVID suspension | "We cannot have real confidence about anything"

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

20:03 11 Jan 2021


Keith Wood and Ruaidhri O'Connor joined Monday Night Rugby on Off The Ball where the pair reacted to the postponement of the Heineken European Champions Cup. 

After the EPCR Statement, Bernard Laporte expressed confidence that the Six Nations will go ahead, but Wood does not share in that optimism.

"I do not think you can have any real confidence about anything at the current moment in time," the former Ireland captain said.

"My fear only for the rugby part of this season is when things are postponed then they try and fit everything single in before the end of the year.

"It made for a bit of a struggle before Christmas and it'll make for  a bit of a struggle again. So everyone wants to sound confident but I don't know where that confidence is based when you see the escalation in case numbers.

"It kind of depends on what happens over the next three, four, five weeks as to exactly what will happen with the Six Nations but there are knock-on effects as to what will happen with the PRO 14, to the Rainbow Cup, to the Lions Tour in South Africa."

Keith Wood: Sympathy for Administrators

Once again, Wood feels some sympathy for those tasked with organising the calendar in the face of such headwinds.

"Much as we criticise them often, its an invidious place to be in as rugby administrator or a government policy maker at the moment," according to the former Harlequin.

"They are trying to react to new information every three or four days. All they can do is work and test as much as they possibly can, and see what rocks up at the end.

"I'm just glad the news broke on Monday and people are not waiting another three or four days to figure out what would happen at the weekend."

Wood feels as the case numbers increase, the justification for elite sport continuing becomes more and more difficult for officialdom.

"It becomes harder by the day, in this third lockdown, the lengths people are going to stay safe and you see sport still going on at different times," the former Ireland skipper said.

"It becomes incredibly difficult when you are looking at mass transport of people when nobody else is allowed to travel and that is essential, that makes it very difficult too.

"If we can tidy things up, great, but we consistently seem to be putting extra things in [Rainbow Cup], when we should be taking things out.

"Let's make it [the rugby calendar] a little less complicated for the rest of the year if possible."

The suspension of European competition means the Leinster and Munster clash from Christmas could be rescheduled in for next week according to Ruaidhri O'Connor.

"Looks like Saturday week, but it depends on what the PRO 14 are able to pull off because I know the Top 14 are looking to run at least one full round of fixtures in these weekends.

"The Premiership are looking to do the same or play matches back that have been postponed due to COVID-19," he said.

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European Champions Cup Keith Wood Leinster Munster Ruaidhri O'connor Rugby

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