UNCERTAINTY over coronavirus has seen the Varsity Matches put back to next spring.

Originally scheduled for December, the current circumstances threatened to make preparation very challenging for the teams from Oxford and Cambridge.

No start date for competitive fixtures in the community game in England has been confirmed, so there were concerns over the men’s and women’s teams having sufficient time to get ready for the annual battle.

Tim Jones, chairman of the competition’s organisers, said: “With all the uncertainty surrounding amateur contact sport, crowds at Twickenham and the return to play for rugby at student level, everyone feels we have made the right decision to move the date of the game.

“We are currently looking at a date in March, 2021, to stage the game.”

Oxford lost both matches last year in front of a crowd of 22,863 at Twickenham.

George Messum, captain of the men’s team, said: “We are hugely excited to see a change to the spring and what positive benefits this can have for the two Varsity fixtures.

“The additional time will enable all four teams to have greater preparation and produce a level of rugby that can match the physical intensity of any professional matches around.”

Fiona Kennedy, who leads the women’s side for the Dark Blues, said: “Moving the Varsity fixtures to the second half of the season provides an opportunity for us to build significant momentum towards the event.”