SCOTLAND’s outstanding fixtures in the 2020 Women’s Six Nations have been cancelled, and their qualifying games for next year’s Rugby World Cup have been postponed. The decisions, taken by Six Nations and World Rugby respectively, mean that Bryan Easson’s side have no remaining games to play this year.

Having drawn with France in the Six Nations last month, Scotland still had to play Italy and Wales in fixtures that had already been postponed. But, with Covid protocols continuing to make travel and playing more difficult, organisers decided to call off those two games and the other remaining match, France against Ireland.

“It’s obviously disappointing news, especially as we were looking forward to the challenge of maintaining the momentum from our recent game against France,” head coach Easson said. “It’s been a tough year for the squad, but we fully understand the decision taken.”

England, the only team to have completed their fixtures, have already been crowned champions. They sealed the Grand Slam by beating Italy 54-0 at the start of this month.

Scotland’s match against the Italians next month was due to double up as a European qualifier for the World Cup, and would have been followed by two more games, against Ireland and the winners of the Rugby Europe Championship. That latter tournament had already been postponed, and, again largely because of restrictions caused by the pandemic, World Rugby have now decided to postpone the full European qualifying programme.

A statement from the global governing body said: “World Rugby and Rugby Europe continue to consult with unions and Six Nations Rugby Limited regarding a window that provides a fair opportunity to deliver the Europe qualifier, with the winner qualifying directly for Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand. The runner-up will progress to the Final Qualification Tournament to be held in 2021. An announcement regarding the rescheduling of the tournament will be confirmed in due course.”