THE organisers of the Six Nations insisted yesterday that there have been no formal discussions about postponing the 2021 Championship – although earlier their chief executive said that a delay had to be an option.

Next year’s tournament is due to begin in early February, and as things stand it is a distinct possibility that supporters will not be allowed to attend the games in significant numbers, if at all. Playing without crowds could mean crippling financial losses for the unions involved – so waiting until later in the year, in the hope fans could attend, has to be considered, according to Ben Morel.

“We have to look at everything right now,” the chief executive said in an interview in The Times. “We need fans back. We are not about to announce that we are doing this, but it is one of the options that is there.

“It is not straightforward and there would be no guarantee that you’d get a better situation. I wish that moving the Six Nations would solve all this, but you cannot say that.

“The discussion is in light of the bigger picture of how we can bring fans back in some capacity in a safe way. Our rugby economy needs it. Everybody has to look at every single option to see what is best.”

Organisers said finishing this year’s tournament was their immediate priority.

“There have been no formal discussions to move the 2021 Guinness Six Nations Championship and at this point all our focus is on completing the remaining fixtures from the 2020 Championship,” they added.