England’s Six Nations finale against Italy in doubt amid coronavirus fears

England's Six Nations finale against Italy in Rome is in doubt with the competition "monitoring very closely" the situation amid coronavirus fears.

Ireland are also set to face Italy in Dublin on March 7 – a week before their clash with the Red Rose in Rome.

Seven people have died in Italy while 229 have tested positive for the virus with several locations in the north in lockdown as the country looks to contain the situation.

A statement from the competition's organisers read: "Six Nations is monitoring this situation very closely and is in regular contact with the FIR (Italian Rugby Federation) and all other Unions and Federations as well as the relevant local authorities and health organisations," a statement from the organisers said.

The Italian Rugby Federation has said they are following government advice and, should it change, they will look to move the women's training base which is situated near some of the at-risk areas.

Italy's women's team are also in the midst of their Six Nations campaign and face matches against England and Ireland.

"All measures adopted by the Italian government are due to expire on 1 March," an Italian Rugby Federation spokesperson said.

"Until then, FIR will stick to those measures while keeping relevant stakeholders involved."

Two domestic Pro14 matches that were due to take place this weekend have been cancelled meaning the Ospreys and Ulster will now longer make their trips to face Zebre and Treviso respectively.

Ireland's health minister Simon Harris has said that "big decisions" will have to be taken as fears of a coronavirus outbreak continue.

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