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Saints awarded win and four league points following Newcastle Falcons cancellation

Northampton Saints have been awarded four league points by Premiership Rugby, following the cancellation of the Club’s Gallagher Premiership match against Newcastle Falcons.

The Round Nine clash was cancelled after Newcastle Falcons returned positive tests in this week’s round of PCR testing, with further players identified as close contacts and therefore placed into isolation.

All four positive cases were front five forwards which created concerns around transmission and a possible outbreak could not be ruled out. However, as all four cases had not been identified at the same testing round, this cannot be confirmed until further testing has been completed.

Therefore, following consultation with local Public Health England officials and the Professional Rugby Testing Oversight Group, the match was cancelled and the Newcastle Falcons training ground closed.

Due to the closure of the training facility and the isolation of its playing squad, Newcastle Falcons was no longer able to fulfil its fixture obligations under Premiership Regulations.

A Premiership Rugby spokesperson said: “The health and safety of players, staff, management and officials is our only priority, so following consultation with local Public Health England officials and the Professional Rugby Testing Oversight Group the correct decision was taken to call the game off.

“Northampton Saints have been awarded the win and four league points. Newcastle Falcons shall be deemed to have lost the match but awarded two league points. The match score shall be recorded as 0–0.

“We wish those affected at the Falcons a safe and speedy recovery.”

The decision was made by a Premiership Rugby panel comprising Chairman Andy Higginson, Chief Executive Darren Childs, and Rugby Director Phil Winstanley.