Wales’ three Test tour of Japan and New Zealand, scheduled to take place in June and July, has been officially postponed after World Rugby confirmed ongoing government and health agency COVID-19 directives will prevent all summer international matches from taking place.
A statement prepared by World Rugby on behalf of all rugby’s major stakeholders reads: "Extended travel and quarantine restrictions that apply to numerous countries and concerns over adequate player preparation time, mean that any sort of cross-border international rugby competition cannot be hosted in July.
"Monitoring of the potential impact on the remaining 2020 international windows continues in collaboration with rugby stakeholders and the respective authorities.
"All decision-making will be entirely contingent on national government travel, quarantine and health advice and important player welfare and hosting considerations in line with return-to-rugby guidance recently published by World Rugby."
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has expressed the obvious disappointment that will be felt by, not only his squad but supporters across all three nations, but is keen to focus on plans to reschedule the fixtures.
"We were very much looking forward to playing both in Japan and New Zealand in the summer so this postponement is disappointing but completely understandable in the circumstances," said Pivac.
"Having seen first-hand the welcome the team received at the World Cup in Japan, and the extraordinary scenes at the open training session, I am sure our fantastic relationship with Japanese rugby will go from strength to strength in the future.
"On a personal note I was really looking forward to returning to New Zealand with Wales. It’s unfortunate that we will now have to wait a little longer for that privilege, but the occasion will be no less relished when it arrives."
The Welsh Rugby Union is actively engaged in return-to-play scenario planning with all relevant stakeholders in the global game and this includes the prospect of rescheduling these summer matches at a later date and time.
All decision-making is of course entirely contingent on respective government travel, quarantine and health advice and important player welfare and hosting considerations in line with guidance recently published by World Rugby.
It’s unfortunate that we will now have to wait a little longer for that privilege, but the occasion will be no less relished when it arrives...