Due to the tragic events last night in Paris and the current period of national mourning in France, EPCR has decided to postpone this weekend’s European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup matches scheduled to be played in France.
Therefore, today’s game between Oyonnax and Ulster has been postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date. We will provide updates on the situation as soon as they become available.
Ulster Rugby and the Irish Rugby Football Union extend their sincerest sympathies to everyone affected by the Paris attacks.
Ulster team manager Bryn Cunningham commented: “There are much more important things in the world than rugby. It has been a devastating series of events and our thoughts and prayers are with the French public and everyone who has been so tragically affected.
“You can certainly get an idea within this town of Oyonnax, just how devastated they are. It’s just a terrible, terrible time.
“We fully support EPCR’s position on this. Decisions like this require a lot of thought and it’s a very difficult thing for them, under exceptional circumstances, to get all those messages out. They did a very good job in keeping us informed. We’ll go back home this evening and await confirmation of when the rescheduled fixture will be.”
Cunningham admits that with European and PRO12 matches pencilled in for the next 11 consecutive weekends, it could prove difficult to find a suitable date for the rearranged fixture.
“Already our management team is planning the weeks and months ahead to see what our fixture list looks like and any potential impact this will have,” he explained.
“Other teams will be doing the same and we just have to manage that and have the squad prepared for a midweek game or for a game to be shifted to later in the season. As yet, we don’t know but to be honest, while we are considering that, the main thing right now is to focus on the tragic events which have taken place.”
With hundreds of fans making their way to the east of France for the game this weekend, Cunningham was keen to thank them for their continued support, while also acknowledging the hospitality shown by the locals.”
“Our supporter base is probably one of the best in world rugby and that is shown by how many came out to support the team here in Oyonnax,” added the former Ulster full-back.
“It’s a beautiful little town and they have really enjoyed the hospitality that the local people have provided over the past day or so. As it’s so compact, there’s been a lot of interaction among both sets of supporters, and with the team staying in the centre of the town, it’s been great to be able to sample that atmosphere.
“I’ve spoken with many of the supporters and obviously they are disappointed that they’ve come across and the game was postponed. But there are things that are a lot more important in life than rugby and they understand that.”