European Rugby Challenge Cup: Timisoara Saracens P-P Northampton Saints

Timisoara snow
The Dan Paltinisanu Stadium was left under several feet of snow, with more forecast

Northampton Saints' European Challenge Cup Pool 1 game with Timisoara Saracens was postponed because of heavy snow.

The game was officially called off 20 minutes before the 12:30 GMT start time in Romania, despite attempts to clear the pitch of several feet of snow.

It is not yet known when the fixture will be replayed. The Saints players quickly set out on their return trip.

Northampton are second in their group with two wins from three games, while Timisoara are bottom with three losses.

The game represented a 2,700 mile round-trip for Saints - and their supporters.

"While we're disappointed that we've made the journey and not been able to play, our thanks go to the Saints supporters who have travelled here in outstanding numbers," said Saints chief executive Mark Darbon.

"We are very grateful to them as ever for their dedication. Unfortunately the weather won out."

What happens next?

Tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby issued a statement, saying: "Heavy snow rendered the pitch at the Dan Paltinisanu Stadium unplayable, leaving match referee Joy Neville with no option but to cancel the fixture.

"With snow continuing to fall in Romania, no alternative options were available to play the match. The Northampton Saints squad and management team are returning to England. The fixture will be the subject of a review which will take place shortly. EPCR will be making no further comment until a decision is announced."

There are two rounds of fixtures left, on successive weekends in January.

Clermont Auvergne, who top the group by 10 points, finish with a home game against Northampton on 12 January, before a trip to Newport six days later for the return game with the Dragons, who are third, having won just one of their four games.

Saints finish with a home game against the Romanians, who have so far conceded 171 points in the process of losing all three games.

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