Rugby's European finals moved from Marseille again due to Covid-19 restrictions

Paris (AFP) –


The two continental cup finals will be moved from Marseille for a second straight year due to the coronavirus pandemic, European Professional Club Rugby announced on Wednesday.

This year's European Champions and Challenge Cup finals will be held on the weekend of May 21-22 in an alternative location.

Marseille has though been awarded next season's finals.

"After consultation with the relevant local authorities in France and given the evolving public health situation, the Board concluded that in order to reduce cross-border travel where possible and to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission, flexibility was required regarding the choice of venues," EPCR said.

"EPCR is working with its shareholder leagues and unions to put in place alternative arrangements for the staging of the two matches," it added.

The body also said the semi-finals of both tournaments will take place at home grounds of clubs involved, in a change to recent years.

The semi-finals of the top-tier Champions Cup have often been re-located to larger stadia in the hosts' country.

"The semi-final pairings in both the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, as well as which clubs will play at home, will be decided by live streamed draws on Sunday 11 April," EPCR said.

The last 16 of this campaign's competitions, which have been modified due to the Covid-19 outbreak, take place this week and include a re-run of the 2008 Champions Cup final as Munster entertain Toulouse.

The quarter-finals will be held next weekend.

EPCR also announced that the 2023 finals will be held at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.