Harlequins and London Irish have both had their games postponed this weekend, with Covid-19 once again wreaking havoc with the sporting calendar. 

After their latest round of PCR testing this week, Quins returned one positive test, but due to the track and trace protocols, a further six players were deemed unavailable for the New Year’s Day trip to Worcester Warriors. 

It is a similar story for Irish, with the Brentford-based side returning a number of positive tests, resulting in their training ground also being closed, and leaving them unable to field a team for Sunday’s fixture with Northampton Saints. 

That means both fixtures will now be cancelled, meaning Irish have only played one Gallagher Premiership match since the start of December. 

“It is obviously a huge disappointment for everyone connected to the club that we're unable to go ahead with the fixture,” London Irish Director of Rugby Declan Kidney said. 

“We're disappointed because we feel we still had a strong group of players to select from, but due to Public Health England guidelines, we've been told we’re not allowed to play the game.

“It is clear that the entire country, especially here in London which is the epicentre of the virus, is at a critical juncture with this current phase of the pandemic.

“Of course it is frustrating, but the health and safety of the players, staff, supporters - and public at large - is our priority at this time, as the country continues to navigate its way through the pandemic.”

Harlequins have also closed down their training facility for the next week to contain any further transmission and to minimise the possible contamination of the area, as they look to protect the health and wellbeing of players and staff.

Under the Premiership Rugby regulations, both matches will be cancelled, and a Premiership Rugby panel will now be convened to determine the allocation of points, leading to a further announcement in due course.