Owen Farrell rejoins England squad after ‘false positive’ Covid test

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Owen Farrell has rejoined the England squad after it was determined his failed Covid test was a "false positive".

Farrell missed Saturday’s 69-3 win over Tonga but is due back at Pennyhill Park this afternoon and is available for Saturday’s match against Australia.

A statement from the RFU on Sunday said: “Owen Farrell will re-join the England squad at Pennyhill Park later today.

“Farrell returned a positive test result from a COVID PCR test (taken on Thursday morning) and immediately went into self-isolation.

“The sample was reviewed by the lab and determined as a false positive test on Saturday morning and subsequently accepted by NHS Test and Trace today. This process is fully in line with advice given by UK Health Security Agency.

“His subsequent PCRs have also been negative and therefore he has been released from self-isolation.”

Speaking after the Tonga in on Saturday, England wing Jonny May hinted false positive.

Asked if there was any disruption with Farrell pulling out, May said: “Yes there was. It was stressful.

“It is hard enough preparing for a test match without all [of that]. On Thursday morning, we have got a positive in the camp, we are about to train and we have all got to go back to our rooms and all have to PCR and lateral flow and we are not sure if we are going to train.

“In 20 minutes the message comes out we have got to race down and get training, all PCR, everybody is nervous...what if a positive comes back? Are we going to get a game in?

“Then Owen has obviously got a positive test back, it looks to all accounts to be a false positive and that is a different discussion.

“I was worried about coming down to breakfast this morning and the game not being on if we had had a few more positives. To perform under those conditions and distractions is credit to the team.

“It didn’t knock us off our stride, but it was a distraction that we dealt with well. It was challenging.”

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