Saracens will be out of action at least five weeks following the postponement of the Gallagher Premiership season and Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals.

Rugby union has become the latest sport to postpone matches due to the outbreak of Covid-19, following in the footsteps of elite football, tennis, golf and many more.

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby statement said: “We are sorry to tell our fans that we will be postponing our season for five weeks, in line with today’s advice of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, which confirmed that the Government would no longer support mass gatherings.

“The safety of our fans and staff is our first priority, and we would like to wish all of those who are affected our heartfelt best wishes and a very speedy recovery.

“We’ll continue to work closely with DCMS and Public Health England, and to follow the advice of medical experts, and work with our clubs to help them to support their own wider communities at this time.

“We are working together with our broadcast partner BT Sport to create exclusive rugby content in the coming weeks. More news on that to follow.

“If you are worried about Coronavirus, please seek the latest official guidance from the NHS website:

The decision does not affect Saracens in terms of this season’s outcomes. The Allianz Park outfit have known since January that they will be playing in the Championship next season following their enforced relegation for breaches of the salary cap.

Saracens are still fighting on the European front after they progressed from their Heineken Champions Cup pool - but their scheduled Heineken Champions Cup trip to Leinster on April 4 has also been postponed.

An EPCR statement said: “The Board of European Professional Club Rugby has decided that this season’s Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup quarter-final matches will not now be played on the scheduled dates of 3/4/5 April.

“Amid growing public health concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was taken during a conference call today (Monday, 16 March) to postpone the eight matches on the weekend in question and to suspend the European club rugby season.

“While respecting all further directives by governments and local authorities, EPCR, in conjunction with the relevant leagues and unions, remains committed to trying to find a solution which will enable it to complete the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournaments at such a time as that aligns with preventative measures undertaken by an overwhelming majority of sport’s governing bodies and tournament organisers in Europe.

“EPCR’s priority is the health and welfare of players and club staff, and an update regarding the knockout stages of the tournaments will be communicated to all stakeholders as soon as practicable.”