In a nod of respect and with consideration for the impending Royal memorial service for the late HRH Duke of Edinburgh, a media release confirmed that Gallagher Premiership Rugby reschedules fixtures on Saturday 17 April to avoid a clash with Prince Philip’s funeral.
All four matches will still be shown live on BT Sport, with Exeter Chiefs v Wasps also broadcast on Channel 5.
12.30: Sale Sharks v Gloucester Rugby (BT Sport Extra 1)
12.30: Exeter Chiefs v Wasps (BT Sport 3 & Channel 5)
17.00: Newcastle Falcons v Bristol Bears (BT Sport 3)
17.00: Harlequins v Worcester Warriors (BT Sport Extra 2)
Premiership Rugby stated, “We would like to thank our broadcasters and all eight clubs for their co-operation in re-arranging these matches so quickly.”
The ability of such a formalized organization to quickly adjust its schedule is a testament to the monumental significance for domestic, as well as International stakeholders and clubs. Royal patronage in the sport has a long history, and the 99-year old has been a figurehead of both rugby union and rugby league for the entire term of his marriage to Queen Elizabeth II.
Premiership Rugby reschedules fixtures in respect of Prince Philip
It is not for just ‘any old reason’ that the Premiership Rugby rescheduled games. Weather and an issue with the facilities are but two so, for the competition to show such reverence is a mark to the person that Prince Philip was.
Offering his service to the realm and to the Commonwealth, players from every corner of those nations who participate in the Premiership will all nod their heads in agreement. His death equates to the very type of situation that must demand alteration to the published calendar.
On multiple occasions, the Prince has been an honoured guest at all manner of rugby games. Rugby World Cup finals, Cup finals at Wembley along with his grandsons, who have all been patrons for national unions. He was President of the MCC cricket club and Equestrian Sports world governing body. So the nature of this respectful decision that Premiership Rugby rescheduled games so as to not clash with the service are both fitting and follows suit with other sports.
The EPL has also rescheduled all 3pm games, as have many club rugby, league, and football games, so that fans and players as well, could watch televised footage of the funeral service. The same will apply to the majority of domestic rugby competitions across the United Kingdom, where a minute silence will be held prior to matches, and players will wear a black armband in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh and the Royal family.
Gallagher Premiership Round 16 – click here for full fixtures list
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