Ireland captain Johnny Sexton.
FOLLOWING days of increasing speculation, it has been confirmed that Ireland's Six Nations clash against Italy at the beginning of March has been postponed.
In a statement on Thursday, the IRFU confirmed that the game, scheduled for Dublin's Aviva Stadium, would not take place as originally planned.
"The IRFU had a positive meeting with Minister Harris and his advisors where we requested a formal instruction as to the staging of the Ireland v Italy international matches over the weekend of 6/8 March," explained a spokesperson.
"At the outset we made it clear that the IRFU was supportive of the government's need to protect public health in relation to the Coronavirus.
"We were then advised, formally, that the National Public Health Emergency team has determined that the series of matches should not proceed, in the interests of public health.
"The IRFU is happy to comply with this instruction.
"We will immediately begin to work with our Six Nations partners to look at the possibility of rescheduling the matches and would hope to have an update on this in the coming days," the spokesperson added.