Preparation for Rugby World Cup in NZ pushed back several months for women's Six Nations sides

The Women’s Six Nations is set to be postponed until April, delaying the teams’ Rugby World Cup preparations, the BBC has reported.

The Women’s Six Nations was due to start on February 6, the same weekend as the men’s tournament, but coronavirus lockdowns across the UK and Europe have prevented it from going ahead as planned.

England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France and Italy’s preparation for the Rugby World Cup, being hosted by New Zealand in September, will again be delayed, following three fixtures in the 2020 cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The 2021 fixtures for Ireland, Scotland and Italy may also double as World Cup qualification matches, as those countries are yet to qualify for the World Cup.

“A lot of work is being done on the planning of the Women's Six Nations Championship factoring the updated and fast-evolving measures in each country," a Six Nations spokesperson told the BBC.

“We will communicate in due course."

Within the Six Nations sides, England is the only full time professional team, while France is semi-professional. The majority of athletes from Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy are amateur, which is creating problems regarding testing, bubbles and travel, the BBC reported.