The prospect of the tournament taking place without spectators is a doomsday scenario for the competing unions.
Speaking earlier this year, Mark Dodson, the Scottish Rugby chief executive, said the prospect of Scotland playing no international matches in front of paying spectators for the rest of the year and through to next year’s Six Nations would cost the union at least £40 million in lost revenue.
Other nations would be similarly affected, hence discussions to delay the start of the Six Nations in the hope that the impact of Covid-19 will have subsided sufficiently to allow in supporters.
“We have to look at everything right now,” Six Nations chief executive Ben Morel is quoted as saying in an interview with the Times. “We need fans back. We are not about to announce that we are doing this, but it is one of the options that is there.
“It is not straightforward and there would be no guarantee that you’d get a better situation. I wish that moving the Six Nations would solve all this, but you cannot say that.
“The discussion is in light of the bigger picture of how we can bring fans back in some capacity in a safe way. Our rugby economy needs it. Everybody has to look at every single option to see what is best.”
Any move to delay the Six Nations would cause problems in the rugby calendar and is certain to be resisted by powerful club cabals in England and France.