3 May 2021

Fiji focused on Covid after Ireland cancels rugby tour

1:39 pm on 3 May 2021

The Fiji Rugby Union is focused on helping the country contain the spread of Covid-19, after Ireland pulled the plug on its planned tour of the Pacific.

Fiji wing Nemani Nadolo is tackled during the test against Ireland.

Ireland's planned tour of Fiji has been cancelled. Photo: AFP

Ireland had been scheduled to play two tests in Fiji and one test against Tonga during the July international window.

The trip was already in doubt because of the ongoing border restrictions around the world, which would have required players to quarantine for two weeks on arrival in Fiji.

On Friday the Ireland Rugby Football Union confirmed the tour was off, saying the "recent Covid outbreak and subsequent lockdown in Fiji" had increased the level of risk and it was no longer viable to proceed with the planned tour.

"A great deal of effort has gone into the planning of the Tour which was predicated on a safety first approach," explained IRFU Performance Director, David Nucifora.

"Fiji up until this point had been relatively untouched by the pandemic but that picture has quickly changed and unfortunately it is no longer viable to proceed with the tour."

Fiji perform the Cibi before their only test of 2020.

Fiji's end of year tour to the Northern Hemisphere was also disrupted by Covid-19. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Fiji Rugby Union Chief Executive John O'Connor told RNZ Pacific their priority right now is to support the government restrictions so the country can bring the current spread of the virus under control.

"That is the focus at the moment so we (are) all just staying home and keeping still and will start considering options as we are uncertain what is ahead of us," he said.

"We will be considering any opportunity that arises but our priority now is supporting the government (to) bring under control this virus."

Fiji Rugby is taking a cautious approach to Covid-19, after an outbreak in the Flying Fijians squad last year caused havoc on their tour to the Northern Hemisphere.

Fiji are also pencilled in to play the All Blacks this year although no details about the proposed test have been confirmed.