Paris (AFP)

The national rugby teams' summer tours scheduled for July 2020 have been postponed due to restrictions put in place around the world to fight the pandemic of new coronavirus, World Rugby announced on Friday.

"The severe travel restrictions and quarantine measures applied in many countries, as well as questions about the amount of preparation time required for players, means that no international rugby competition can take place in July," said l 'world body in a press release also published on behalf of national federations, organizations managing international competitions and international players.

The XV of France was to play two test matches in Argentina on July 4 and 11. Among the other great nations of the game, England had to go to Japan, Wales to Japan then to New Zealand, Ireland to Australia and Scotland to South Africa then to New Zealand.

"The study of the potential impact of the other international windows of 2020 continues in close collaboration with the international rugby stakeholders and the authorities concerned," adds World Rugby.

Fall tours traditionally take place in November, with teams from the Southern Hemisphere coming to play in Europe.

Freshly re-elected head of World Rugby, the Englishman Bill Beaumont must organize the way out of the crisis. He recently exposed the difficulties encountered by the international federation to organize the matches of the fall while reprogramming the meetings which could not take place because of the health crisis which paralyzes the planet.

Many federations, including the French Federation (FFR), have thus demanded an enlarged window of two months (October-November) to be able to play more matches and catch up with those that could not take place.

The 2020 Six Nations Tournament was stopped before the last day and the France-Ireland and Italy-England matches, in particular, were not played.

At the same time, the EPCR has still not given up organizing the final stages of the European Cup and intends to organize the remaining matches, starting from the quarter-finals of the 2019-2020 edition, in October.

World rugby states in its press release that "all parties - member federations, international competitions, competitions of professional clubs and international rugby players - will be involved (...) in developing an adjusted calendar for the rest of the year".

© 2020 AFP