Coronavirus: 10 players and staff at Premiership clubs test positive

Ruben Hill
July 9, 2020

"We can confirm that one or more members of staff at our club have tested positive in our PCR Covid-19 screening programme in the round of tests taken across the Premiership on Monday 6 July", Saracens said in a statement.

When a player who tests positive is ready to come back into the training environment, they will be medically assessed and have a graduated return to training.

Premiership Rugby has confirmed that 10 people out of 804 screened on Monday have tested positive for coronavirus.

'Premiership Rugby and the RFU are providing this aggregated information for competition integrity and transparency.

"This is a significant milestone in our journey to restarting Gallagher Premiership Rugby, as we stay on track to resume the league on August 15 if it remains safe to do so", said Premiership Rugby chief executive Darren Childs at the time. No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided.

The identities of the individuals infected have been kept confidential but Harlequins and Northampton have both confirmed one positive test each, while Saracens have had at least one.

Stage two of the clubs' return allowed for close contact training for small groups and would include scrummaging work.

The statement added: 'Players or club staff who have tested positive and their close contacts will now isolate and be assessed in line with the PHE-agreed guidelines.

Leicester Tigers and England scrum-half Ben Youngs told the BBC: "I'd probably be naive to think that out of 800 tests you aren't going to get a few [positives], but 10 out of 800 isn't too many in my opinion, not that I'm an expert on it". The important thing is what happens next, because you don't want that 10 next week to be 30 and then 80. "Hopefully people will follow protocols to make sure it doesn't get larger than that".

Players have been training in groups so far but their close contacts will be determined on an individual basis, using video footage of all sessions and the monitoring of their Global Positioning System movements.

Guidance stipulates that players and designated support staff must undergo regular COVID-19 testing, with a high standard of hygiene required at training facilities.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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