Five British & Irish Lions in isolation after Covid case but Sharks tie still to go ahead
Five members of the British and Irish Lions touring party are isolating. A member of the coaching staff tested positive on Wednesday, with four players also forced to self-isolate as a result. All members of the touring party have subsequently been PCR tested
The news puts Wednesday evening’s match against The Sharks in doubt, although the fixture will still take place at 7pm BST if no further positives come back during the day.
“We have followed all necessary precautions since the start of the Tour, which included regular testing and rigorous COVID-19 counter measure planning and protocols,” Lions managing director Ben Calveley said.
“Our priority is to ensure the health and safety of the entire touring party, which is why we quickly isolated the players and staff upon receiving the news of the positive result.
“The Medical Advisory Group await the results of the PCR testing in order to make a decision on tonight’s game.
“The five individuals effected will be monitored closely during isolation and receive the best possible medical attention as we await the results of their PCR tests.”
The positive test is the latest setback for a Lions tour that has been blighted by problems.
On Tuesday it was confirmed that five people had tested positive in the Bulls squad, forcing Saturday’s fixture against he Pretoria-based outfit to be cancelled.
And 11 members of the South Africa squad also tested positive on Tuesday, with the first test just over a fortnight away.
And the Springboks’ warm-up match against Georgia on Friday has also been cancelled due to an outbreak in the travelling squad.
Barring further disruption, the Lions will open their full Test series against South Africa in cape Town on 24 July.
Head coach Warren Gatland is targeting a second full series victory with the Lions, following on from the win over Australia in 2013 and dramatic draw with New Zealand in 2014.
The second test is scheduled for 31 July in Johannesburg, with the final tests set for 7 August, also in Johannesburg.
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