World Rugby has revealed that all rugby union tours in July have been postponed due to the ongoing restrictions caused by the global health pandemic.
Wales’ tours of Japan and New Zealand will be impacted by the news, as well as Ireland’s planned trip to Australia, among others.
A World Rugby spokesperson stated: “Extended travel and quarantine restrictions that apply to numerous countries, and concerns over adequate player preparation time, mean that any sort of cross-border international rugby competition cannot be hosted in July.
“Monitoring of the potential impact on the remaining 2020 international windows continues in collaboration with international rugby stakeholders and the respective authorities.”
Rugby union’s international governing body has also revealed that it will remain in contact with all parties involved in order to achieve a new ‘aligned calendar’ for the remainder of the year. However, any decision will be dependent on national government travel, quarantine and health advice to ensure that player safety isn’t compromised.
England head coach Eddie Jones, who was scheduled to take his side to Japan for an international tour, agreed with World Rugby’s decision to postpone the matches.
He said: “While we are of course disappointed to have our two Test matches against Japan postponed, it’s the correct decision under the current circumstances. I hope all Japanese and English rugby fans are keeping safe and well and we look forward to being back on a rugby pitch and back in Japan in the future.”
Additionally, Japan Rugby Football Union President, Shigetaka Mori, emphasised: “It is disappointing for us the scheduled Tests matches against Wales and England in June and July have been postponed, while many fans are looking forward to this year’s Japan’s campaign.
“However, above all, we believe that it is the time when everyone concerned works together to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and meet the current social needs.
“Once the situation is under control, we would like to welcome everyone with a smile at the stadium with thorough preparation in a safe environment. While we hope the situation will soon go back to normal, please keep well and safe.”