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Heineken Champions Cup: Leinster progress to quarter-finals after Toulon tie is cancelled

Toulon had already arrived in Dublin for the 17:30 BST kick-off on Friday

Leinster are through to the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals after their last-16 match against Toulon was called off on Friday.

The French side were already in Dublin preparing for the game when it emerged an unnamed Toulon squad member had tested positive for Covid-19.

An EPCR statement on Friday confirmed that as Toulon could not fulfil the fixture, Leinster will progress.

They will meet Exeter Chiefs or Lyon in the last eight on Friday 9 April.

The Toulon player tested positive before the side left France, and subsequently did not travel with the squad.

However, despite an additional round of testing on Thursday returning all negative results, European Professional Club Rugby’s matchday medical risk assessment committee identified a number of players as “high risk contacts” and therefore unsafe to play.

“Having been notified of that position, RC Toulon informed EPCR that they could not select a match day squad to safely fulfil the fixture,” said an EPCR statement.

During the group stages of the tournament, any side unable to fulfil a fixture due to a Covid-19 case were deemed to have lost the game. Should the same principle apply to the knock-out stages, Leinster will advance to the last eight.

This season’s competition has looked radically different to its usual format, and has had to contend with the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic.

January’s remaining pool fixtures were scrapped following French government concerns regarding cross-border travel.

The semi-finals are scheduled for the weekend of 30 April with the final set to take place on Saturday 22 May, although it will no longer be held in Marseille.

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