Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers cancelled due to coronavirus cases at Franklin’s Gardens

Northampton are scheduled to play Leinster in the Champions Cup on 15 January

Saturday’s East Midlands derby between Northampton and Leicester has been cancelled due to “a number of positive” coronavirus tests in the Saints camp.

In addition to the confirmed cases, “further players” are also having to isolate as close contacts.

Saints – whose last Premiership fixture at London Irish was also called off – will not train again until Monday.

The game will not be rescheduled, with a Premiership Rugby panel deciding the allocation of points “in due course”.

“We are incredibly disappointed and frustrated that we are unable to proceed with such an important fixture for the club,” said Northampton director of rugby Chris Boyd.

Five Premiership games have now been cancelled this season due to Covid-19 outbreaks and there have also been more positive tests at champions Exeter this week, though they still expect their match against Bristol to go ahead on Saturday.

In the previous four instances, the team affected by the virus were awarded two points and a defeat by a Premiership panel, with their opponents given four points and a win.

Premiership Rugby have confirmed they will be publishing additional Covid-19 protocols for the league around matchdays and training.

A spokesperson said they will make the Premiership “even more Covid safe” and details will be released in the next 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the players involved at Northampton have begun a 10-day isolation period.

“The club has been absolutely rigorous in how we have followed the protocols laid out for us, and despite returning a number of positive tests this week, we were confident that we have more than enough of our squad still healthy and available to play the game if required,” said Boyd.

“However, we are following the advice we have been given, which was not to play the game and to close our training facility until next week.”

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Courtney Lawes: England and Northampton lock to miss autumn matches

Northampton lock Courtney Lawes landed awkwardly in the early stages of the Premiership defeat at Sale

Northampton lock Courtney Lawes will miss England’s autumn schedule with an ankle injury that will keep him out for about 12 weeks.

The 31-year-old is set to have surgery on the injury he sustained during the Premiership defeat by Sale last month.

Lawes was substituted in the ninth minute after competing for the ball in the air and falling awkwardly.

First-place England end their disrupted Six Nations campaign in Italy on Saturday, 31 October.

Lawes, who has 85 caps, started three of the four matches before the tournament was postponed in March amid the coronavirus pandemic.

England head coach Eddie Jones will also be without Sale centre Manu Tuilagi for the rest of the competition, after he ruptured his Achilles tendon during the same game.

With the experienced Lawes and Tuilagi missing, Jones has named 12 uncapped players in a much-changed training squad.

England face the Barbarians on 25 October, before completing the 2020 Six Nations against Italy and then playing four games in the Autumn Nations Cup.

25 October, 14:00: England v Barbarians, Twickenham
31 October, 16:45: Italy v England, Stadio Olimpico, Rome
14 November, 15:00: England v Georgia, Twickenham
21 November, 15:00: England v Ireland, Twickenham
28 November, 16:00: Wales v England, TBC
6 December, 14:00: England v TBC, Twickenham

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Residents Film Rare Twister Sweeping Through Northampton

Residents Film Rare Twister Sweeping Through Northampton

A rare tornado was reported in Northampton, England, on July 25 as severe weather hit the area, according to local reports. The Northampton Chronicle and Echo reported that the tornado moved east through Northamptonshire near Lower Harlestone, Chapel Brampton and Moulton at around 8pm local time, causing damage to property, including a community garden. This footage was posted to Facebook by Kate Demi. Credit: Kate Demi via Storyful

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