Foot and mouth threat means the Ireland and Wales Six Nations Championship is postponed.

Only this afternoon, the Irish rugby selectors had named the team for Saturday's game against Wales. However, by evening the game had been called off. 

Following consultations between the Department of Agriculture and the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), the IRFU agreed to postpone the Six Nations clash due to take place in Cardiff over the threat of Irish fans returning and bringing foot and mouth disease to the island of Ireland.

Chief Executive with the IRFU Philip Browne said that people's livelihoods needed to be put ahead of a game of rugby. 

We have to look at the bigger picture. This is a game of rugby. There's a much bigger picture here in terms of people's livelihoods within the island of Ireland.

Sporting fixtures have been hit by both bad weather and foot and mouth disease. All horse and greyhound racing fixtures have been banned in both Ireland and England. It looks increasingly likely that this year's Cheltenham Festival will also be cancelled.

Most sporting events today were called off due to weather conditions with Lansdowne Road under four inches of snow. The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has yet to make a decision about whether the friendly between the Republic of Ireland and Denmark will go ahead tomorrow night. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 27 February 2001. The reporter is Clare McNamara.