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Could Coronavirus Undercut Rugby Playoffs?

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Could Coronavirus Undercut Rugby Playoffs?

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Call it coronavirus, call it Covid-19, call it something else, the virus that's been in the news is having an effect on rugby around the country.

As some major sporting events are being canceled to changed or held without fans, even the relatively small fishbowl of American college rugby is being affected.

Representatives from various conferences and USA Rugby have had meetings to discuss contingencies should the spread of the virus worsen and venues be closed to teams be prevented from traveling.

Stanford University, which is slated to host one bracket of the college playoffs on April 17-19, and the college finals on May 2, has moved to online classes for now. 

At the same time, plans are afoot to hold a collegiate 7s championship weekend. The venue has been chosen, but it's reasonable to think there's concern that signing contracts and committing to booking a venue when the event might be canceled due to teams not being able to travel.

So right now it's a matter of wait and see, and of being flexible. Right now USA Rugby is set to run playoffs for Women's D1 College, Men's D1AA College, and Women's D2 College in 15s. D1A Rugby, along with running playoffs in 15s and holding Women's D1 Elite 15s playoffs, is tasked with running a 64-team, six-bracket college 7s championship. But no one, USA Rugby, D1A Rugby, or NSCRO, wants to run a championship that teams can't attend.

News and analysis seems to be saying that the Covid-19 outbreak will slow down soon, especially as the weather warms.