Six Nations organizers have announced that in February and March the 2021 World Cup will begin as scheduled, reacting to rumors that the championship could be moved to the summer. The tournament will open on Feb. 6 with a match between Italy and France, but with the tour of the Lions to South Africa in question due to the escalating coronavirus pandemic, there has been speculation that the Six Natio
It was argued that there would be potential for crowd involvement, which would benefit the financially strapped federations, with significant sections of the population predicted to be vaccinated by the summer. Just five weeks to go before the beginning of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations. Excited? #GuinnessSixNations pic.twitter.com/HxRt8xG3II- Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) January 3, 2021But in its normal time slot, the tournament will take place, except for Covid-19. “The Six Nations plan to run the tournament as scheduled, but we are monitoring the situation with the federations and their respective governments and health authorities,” a spokesman said. England expects its title defense against Scotland to kick off on Feb. 6 at Twickenham as scheduled. “We are sticking to the fixtures and monitoring the situation with all parties,” he said. Health Minister Matt Hancock is worried about the South African coronavirus strain (Aaron Chown/PA) The Lions’ tour will have to be cancelled as soon as possible for the Six Nations to be moved to the summer, but Chief Executive Ben Calveley on Saturday set a deadline for feasibility talks to be completed in February. The admission Monday by Health Minister Matt Hancock that he is “very concerned” about the South African version of Covid-19 underlines the difficulty for the Lions in determining whether to continue the tour. It is suspected that the mutation is more transmissible than the current British strain and more resistant to vaccines, leading to a ban on all flights to these shores from South Africa.