The Women's and Under-20s Six Nations tournaments have been postponed until later in the year, but the men's competition remains on track to proceed as planned.

Tournament organisers have been forced to concede defeat in their efforts to run off the Women's and Under 20s games in the traditional window of February and March. 

In a statement released on Wednesday, Six Nations Rugby said the women's championship will be scheduled in revised windows later this spring or early summer.

It had been anticipated the Women's Six Nations, usually played in tandem with the men's event, would be pushed back due to the logistical difficulties posed by most of the teams being amateur. Only reigning champions England are fully professional.

The Six Nations confirmed it will finalise the dates, times and formats for both the Women’s and Under-20s tournaments in consultation with all unions, broadcast partners and stakeholders. Full details will be announced by the end of this month.

Ireland have not played a game since 24 October, when they beat Italy in their deferred Six Nations game in Donnybrook.

"This is disappointing news that we fully accept is in the best interests of everyone involved," said IRFU Director of Women's and Sevens Rugby Anthony Eddy.

"Our training programme is reviewed on an ongoing basis to adapt to ever changing circumstances and our players have demonstrated a commendable attitude and resilience in this regard while adhering to strict safety protocols.

"We will also continue to work with World Rugby to ensure our Rugby World Cup 2021 [due to star in New Zealand in September] qualification games can take place in a timely and safe manner."

Plans to hold the men’s championship remain on track however. It kicks off on Saturday 6 February with Italy v France, followed by England v Scotland, and Wales against Ireland the next day.

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