SCOTLAND’s Autumn Nations Cup match against France on Sunday has become a straight shootout for a place in the final for Gregor Townsend’s side after their game against Fiji, due to take place a week today, was called off.

Italy could complicate the fixture for the French when those two teams meet next weekend in the final round of Group B fixtures. But for Scotland the picture is clear: if they beat France at Murrayfield they will go to the top of the group and should then go through as winners by being awarded a bonus-point victory against the Fijians.

France are currently top after tournament organisers ruled they should be given a 28-0 win when their game against Fiji had to be cancelled last weekend - a result that put them ahead on points difference of Scotland, who were 28-17 winners against Italy. Since then the number of positive Covid tests in the Fiji camp has grown significantly, leading first to the cancellation of their game against Italy, due to have gone ahead on Saturday, and now their scheduled last group game against Scotland. Both the Italians and the Scots are also set to be awarded five points from those games.

“Organisers of the Autumn Nations Cup today announced the cancellation of the Scotland v Fiji fixture due to take place at BT Murrayfield on 28th November 2020,” a statement from the ANC explained on Friday. “The extent of infection in the Fiji camp, combined with a minimum 10-day isolation period, plus the obvious need for suitable preparation for any international Test match, meant that, whilst difficult, the decision was unavoidable.

“The tournament organisers remain in constant contact with the Fijian squad regarding their well-being and recovery, which continues to be the number one priority. The Fiji team and the organisers are hopeful that the fourth match on December 5th against the team that will finish in fourth place in Pool A will be able to take place, subject to checks on fitness levels once the players come out of isolation and following all appropriate protocols.”