Lions game goes ahead despite Covid-19 disruption

The British and Irish Lions will go ahead with their match against the Sharks tonight after the touring side had earlier reported their first case of Covid-19 amid a virulent third wave in the host nation.
The Lions said two players were in self-isolation after a management member tested positive, but that the rest of the squad had shown negative results from PCR tests and that their second tour game – which had been in doubt – was going ahead at Ellis Park, but with kick-off put back one hour to 7pm.
Earlier, a statement from the Lions said the individual and four close contacts – including two players and two members of staff – were being isolated and assessed at the team hotel, and that all other members of the touring party had been PCR-tested.
On Tuesday, the Lions’ scheduled weekend match against the Bulls in Pretoria was called off after the Currie Cup champions reported four cases in their ranks.
Close contact meant the entire Bulls squad went into self-isolation, leaving them unable to field a team on Saturday.
“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,” said Ben Calveley, managing director for the Lions.
The announcement of a first case in the Lions camp came minutes after South Africa cancelled Friday’s warm-up test against Georgia.

Friday’s game has been cancelled

The Springboks, who are due to play the Lions in the first game of a three-match series on 24 July, have been in self-isolation since Monday when four new cases were reported in their ranks.
This increased to 12 on Tuesday after a new round of testing with both coach Jacques Nienaber and outhalf Handre Pollard among those infected.
South Africa were scheduled to meet Georgia in their second test at Ellis Park on Friday as a warm-up for the Lions series. However, that was cancelled after Georgia also reported six cases in their ranks.
South Africa went into a severe lockdown on June 28 – the eve of the Lions’ arrival – as Covid-19 infections spiked. Last Saturday, the country had a daily record of 26,000 new cases.


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Publish date : 2021-07-07 17:10:03

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