Lions camp hit by positive Covid test to throw tour into fresh disarray

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The British and Irish Lions have revealed that a member of their management team has tested positive for Covid-19 in South Africa.

The individual, who read positive with a lateral flow test, and four close contacts – including two players – are now in isolation. 

Tonight’s game against Cell C Sharks is still set to go ahead, subject to a full round of PCR testing of the touring party, but kick-off has been pushed back to a 7pm UK start time. 

The Lions fixture against the Bulls on Saturday has already been called off because of Covid-19 in the hosts’ camp, while it was confirmed today that the Springboks second Test against Georgia on Friday is also off. Both teams have recorded positive tests. 

This string of positive tests throws the tour in doubt, with just 17 days until the first Test between the Lions and Springboks, who will have played just one Test since their World Cup final victory over England. 

“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,” said Ben Calveley, Managing Director for the British & Irish Lions. 

“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. 

“Everyone has subsequently been lateral flow and PCR tested. The Medical Advisory Group await the results of the PCR testing in order to make a decision on tonight’s game.  

“The five individuals affected will be monitored closely during isolation and receive the best possible medical attention as we await the results of their PCR tests. 

“Further updates will follow in due course.”

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