GLASGOW face an anxious wait to learn if they will be punished by the organisers of the Champions Cup for being unable to fulfill their fixture against Lyon.

The match, due to have been played at Scotstoun this Saturday, was called off today after 20 members of the Warriors squad went into self-isolation as a Covid precaution. That was a response to the news, received by Glasgow on Tuesday, that several Exeter Chiefs players and staff had tested positive.

All 20 Glasgow men who are self-isolating took part in the 42-0 defeat by the Chiefs at Sandy Park last Sunday. As of this afternoon, none had tested positive for Covid.

While postponed PRO14 games have been rescheduled this season, no provision has been made to do that in the Champions and Challenge Cups, tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) having decided there was no room in a crowded calendar. Instead, a ruling on how to record the Glasgow-Lyon match - and Exeter’s game at Toulouse on Sunday, now also postponed - will be made by an EPCR committee.

Although it is no fault of anyone at the Warriors that some Exeter employees tested positive, the fear at Scotstoun is that their team will be ruled to have been unable to fulfill a fixture. Such a ruling would result in the awarding of a 28-0 win to Lyon - a result that would kill off Glasgow’s already faint hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals.

With a number of players on the injury list to add to the 20 self-isolating, head coach Danny Wilson simply would not have enough squad members left to take the field against Lyon. As no rugby below professional level has been played in Scotland since March, he would not even be able to call on semi-professional players from Super6.

The cancellation of the two matches was announced in a statement by EPCR in mid-afternoon yesterday [Wed]. It read: “EPCR has been informed that a number of Exeter Chiefs players and staff have tested positive for COVID-19, and that in accordance with public health guidelines, the club will not be able to send a match day squad to fulfil its fixture against Toulouse at Stade Ernest Wallon on Sunday (20 December). The Pool B match is therefore cancelled.

“As Exeter Chiefs played against Glasgow Warriors in Round 1 of the tournament, Glasgow Warriors have advised EPCR that many of its senior players are now self-isolating in accordance with public health guidelines, and consequently, the club is not in a position to field a match day squad of the appropriate standard for its Heineken Champions Cup, Round 2 fixture against Lyon at Scotstoun Stadium on Saturday (19 December). The Pool B match between Glasgow Warriors and Lyon is therefore also cancelled.

As per its COVID-19 protocol, EPCR will convene Match Result Resolution Committees to determine the results of the cancelled matches and the decisions of the committees will be communicated as soon as practicable.”

Glasgow issued their own statement shortly afterwards, saying: “A total of 20 Glasgow Warriors players from the match-day 23 in Exeter last Sunday are now self-isolating after several Exeter Chiefs players and staff tested positive for COVID-19. With a significant number of players self-isolating and an extensive injury list, the decision has been taken that it is not safe to play on Saturday.

“Glasgow Warriors will now turn its attention to mitigating any further risks to its squad to protect the upcoming 1872 Cup fixtures against Edinburgh in the Guinness PRO14. The club has reviewed the stringent COVID-19 protocols that it has put in place for its squad and commends its players and staff who have been exemplary in following these during this period.”