Leeds Rhinos close training ground after recent Covid cases

Ian Laybourn, PA
·3-min read

Leeds Rhinos have closed their training ground for five days to act as a “fire break” after six players and one member of staff tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 10 days.

The Betfred Super League club say those affected are isolating at home for a minimum of 10 days and players and staff will have to produce a negative test before they are allowed to return.

All players and staff will also have daily lateral flow tests while the training ground is closed.

The Kirkstall base, which was virtually destroyed by floods six years ago but survived their latest downpour, will undergo a scheduled full deep clean this week whilst the players and staff are off site.

In line with Government guidelines, the club say Public Health England have been informed.

Leeds director of rugby Kevin Sinfield said: “Firstly, I would like to thank our players and staff for how they have adhered to the guidelines and rules in place since we returned to training.

“We are in a privileged position as an elite sport that we can continue to train. With that privilege comes a great deal of responsibility.

“Whilst this may be a short disruption to our pre-season plans, it is important that we look after the wellbeing of our people, their families and the local community.

“We have increased our bio-security from last season and everyone is vigilant about ensuring we lessen the probabilities of spreading the virus.

“Because of our increased testing since New Year, it has become evident that, despite all our precautions, the virus has continued to spread within the group.

“We hope this short period will act as a fire break and enable us to move forward next week.”

The start of the 2021 Betfred Super League season has been put back two weeks to March 25 due to lockdown restrictions.

Huddersfield followed Leeds’ move after reporting several positive cases at their training facility.

Giants managing director Richard Thewlis said: “We have followed the guidelines laid down precisely and quickly which meant that following this morning’s lateral flow testing, a threshold was hit whereby we immediately closed our facility and will take a five-day break again as per the guidelines.

“In that time the training centre will undergo a full deep clean and, in order for a return to training to be sanctioned, further testing will take place for all staff and players next week.”