Six Nations chiefs meet in Paris to discuss growing threat of coronavirus crisis

Six Nations chiefs will meet in Paris today to discuss the coronavirus crisis and its growing impact on the championship.

Concern has been heightened by the decision of the French government to ban all indoor gatherings of more than 5,000 people.

The same emergency cabinet meeting cancelled yesterday’s Paris Half Marathon and the city’s annual agricultural fair – but Ligue 1 football matches went ahead.

The championship has already lost this Saturday’s match between Ireland and Italy and there is uncertainty over the surviving fixtures.

On Saturday Wales come to England where 12 more patients have tested positive, including one from Essex with "no relevant travel”, taking the total number of UK cases to 35.

Scotland host leaders France 24 hours later. But the most pressing concern is for the following weekend when England go to Italy and Ireland to Paris.

The Italian government has extended the suspension of all sporting events until March 8 in the affected areas of Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna.

Rome is unaffected by the decree, meaning no fresh concerns for the England game, which pre-outbreak had been expected to attract up to 20,000 travelling fans.

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