The derby fixture between Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers on Saturday, January 9, 2021 has been called off due to coronavirus cases at Franklin’s Gardens.
Northampton confirmed a number of cases at the club on Tuesday, 5th January and some players are out of camp due to contact tracing. The Public Health of England made the decision to call off the match to avoid the spread of the virus among players on the field.
Gutted 😔— Northampton Saints 😇 (@SaintsRugby) January 6, 2021
We’re disappointed to confirm that Saturday’s @premrugby Derby with Tigers has been cancelled.
Premiership Rugby has confirmed the East Midlands derby on Saturday is the fifth fixture to be cancelled due to the fast spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Northampton Director of rugby, Chris Boyd said the club is disappointed about the cancellation of the derby between Leicester which to them is an important fixture for the club. “We are incredibly disappointed and frustrated that we are unable to proceed with such an important fixture for the club” he said.
💬 “We were confident that we have more than enough of our squad still healthy and available to play if required.— Northampton Saints 😇 (@SaintsRugby) January 6, 2021
“But 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.” pic.twitter.com/Sa2hpbEyO6
According to Chris Boyd, the East Midlands match fixture is a day that supporters of the club will have prepared in their calendar months in advance to the derby match. He said the game is historic and the club would have loved to be part of it.
Boyd said the club has followed the safety protocols laid out for them and has run some number of positive tests this week but is confident the club has enough healthy players available if the derby is to come off.
Northampton players who have tested positive for Covid have begun a 10-day isolation to receive treatment.