ENGLAND were scheduled to visit Italy for their final Six Nations fixture.
But that game in Rome has now been cancelled, leaving the tournament in disarray.
Why has Italy vs England rugby been postponed?
Italy vs England has been postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
A new law passed in Italy means all sporting events in the country must be played behind closed doors until April 3.
However, with 20,000 England supporters set to fly to the Italian capital for the match, organisers decided they preferred to play it at a later date rather than without spectators.
The decision is set to be confirmed today (March 5).
When was Italy vs England meant to take place?
Italy vs England was supposed to take place on Saturday, March 14 at 4.45pm.
It would have been the penultimate match of the Six Nations with France vs Ireland concluding the tournament.
However, Ireland also have yet to play Italy with their game against the Italians in Dublin a week earlier also postponed.
When will Italy vs England take place now?
Italy vs England is unlikely to be held until the autumn.
It is difficult to see Premiership Rugby matches being moved to accommodate the new date, particularly with Saracens having booked the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for their game against Harlequins on March 28.
And a week later, the Heineken Champions Cup returns for the quarter-finals.
In addition, the Rugby World Cup in September means the English Premiership final will not be played until June 20 this year.
Shortly afterwards, the summer tours begin in July with August then set to be a rest month.
How does this affect the Six Nations standings?
The postponement of Italy's games against Ireland and England means only France are now able to win the tournament on the date it was initially scheduled to end – March 14.
Should France defeat Scotland and Ireland in the remaining two games they will win the tournament with a grand slam.
If the French are successful, this may well increase the likelihood of Italy's remaining games being cancelled altogether as they will not have any impact on the eventual winner.
However, if France lose either one of their last two matches then England and Ireland will likely still be in with a chance of winning the trophy and the outcome will not be known until the games against Italy are played.
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