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Saints v Tigers: Saturday’s East Midlands Derby cancelled

Northampton Saints can today confirm that the Club’s Gallagher Premiership fixture against Leicester Tigers on Saturday has regrettably been cancelled.

In this week’s round of PCR testing ahead of the East Midlands Derby, the Club returned a number of positive tests, and had further players unavailable for selection following the Contact Tracing process.

In close consultation with Public Health England, the match has subsequently been called off and Saints’ training also cancelled until the next round of testing – scheduled for Monday 11 January.

The players involved have already begun a ten-day isolation period in accordance with the guidelines set out by Public Health England.

“We are incredibly disappointed and frustrated that we are unable to proceed with such an important fixture for the Club,” said Director of Rugby, Chris Boyd.

“The East Midlands Derby is a day that Saints supporters will have circled in their calendar months in advance. It’s a game entrenched in history and one our players particularly relish being a part of.

“It’s also a big blow to have back-to-back matches cancelled, as we had hoped to pick up some momentum again following an important win on Boxing Day.

“The Club has been absolutely rigorous in how we have followed the protocols laid out for us, and despite returning a number of positive tests this week, we were confident that we have more than enough of our squad still healthy and available to play the game if required.

“However, we are following the advice we have been given, which was not to play the game and to close our training facility until next week. While this is a bitter pill to swallow, the health and safety of the players, staff and families of everyone at both Saints and Tigers is of course paramount.”

This is the second consecutive match the men in Black, Green and Gold have seen cancelled due to COVID-19, with positive tests at London Irish also seeing last weekend’s fixture against the Exiles called off – with Saints awarded a win and four league points, and Irish a loss and two league points.

Under Premiership Rugby’s regulations, following the cancellation of Northampton Saints vs Leicester Tigers, a Premiership Rugby panel will now be convened to determine the allocation of points and a further announcement will be made in due course.

CLICK HERE to read the clauses about COVID-19 in the Premiership Rugby regulations.

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