AN ITALIAN rugby team remain scheduled to play in Newport tonight despite measures being taken in other competitions to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The Dragons' game against Benetton in the Guinness PRO14 is still expected to take place at 19:35 later today.

So far there have been 95, 270 confirmed cases of the virus globally, with 3,281 deaths.

At time of writing, 116 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the UK

A statement from PRO14, issued today, reads: "Protecting the well-being of its participating clubs' players, other staff and supporters is an absolute priority for PRO14 Rugby. As such, PRO14 Rugby has been carefully monitoring the situation in relation to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

"It is satisfied that allowing the fixture to proceed this evening as scheduled is consistent with the very latest guidance from the UK government and specific recommendations received from Public Health Wales.

"There is currently no direction from the UK government that prohibits travel from Italy in relation to the outbreak.


"However, in keeping with the UK government guidance, on the advice of Public Health Wales, relayed to via the Welsh Rugby Union (current arrangement with all participating unions), PRO14 Rugby has requested and received written assurances from Benetton Rugby that (among other things) nobody in their travelling party has presented any symptoms associated with the virus, knowingly been in contact with any person with the virus and/or lived in or travelled to any of the so-called 'lockdown' areas in northern Italy since 19 February 2020.

"Benetton Rugby have been also instructed to, and have, actively discouraged its supporters from travelling to this fixture. PRO14 Rugby has taken all this action in order to protect the well-being of our participating clubs' players, other staff and supporters."

David Jordan, Tournament Director, PRO14 Rugby, said: “We want to reassure our participating clubs, their players and other staff and supporters that their well-being is of paramount importance to us and we are satisfied that proceeding with this fixture is entirely consistent with the most up-to-date advice available from the relevant public health authorities.”

Although games in Italy (involving Irish teams) have been postponed, PRO14 state that this is due to restrictions imposed by the Italian government and the direction of the Irish government regarding unnecessary travel to northern Italy.

As indicated on February 28, PRO14 Rugby has activated a live channel of communication with each of the Chief Medical Officers for each participating union who are providing the latest information, advice and requirements from national governments and health authorities in their respective territories.