Nations Cup turmoil: Whopping 29 COVID cases in Fiji camp
NEWS: Group B in the Nations Cup has been plunged into chaos following the cancellation of a second match involving Fiji, this time Saturday’s fixture against Italy.
France were awarded a 28-0, four-try bonus-point win over the Fijians on Tuesday after tournament organisers came to a decision on what to do following the cancellation of last Sunday’s match that was due to be staged at Vannes.
The Fijians, who had their pre-tournament warm-up match at Portugal cancelled due to COVID, had their game against France called off last Friday following the confirmation of four positives tests in their camp.
However, despite players and management isolating since then, the results of a further round of testing on Monday were announced on Tuesday and they confirmed a way more severe level of outbreak, forcing the cancellation of their round two match with Italy.
“The organiser of the Autumn Nations Cup today announced the cancellation of the Italy vs Fiji match due to take place on Saturday, November 21, in Ancona. The decision was taken after the latest round of Covid-19 tests undertaken yesterday [Monday] by the Fijian team returned 29 positive cases this morning.
“The tournament organiser remains in constant contact with the Fijian squad to address the situation. The main priority at present is the welfare of all players and management. The potential impact on Fiji’s remaining matches is currently under review.”
Another 0-28 defeat is now set to be the outcome for Fiji following their Italy cancellation and it remains to be seen if they can fulfil their round three fixture against Scotland on November 28 at Murrayfield.
A statement earlier on Tuesday confirming the 28-0 win for France read: “While no fault has been apportioned to Fiji Rugby, the competition rules provide that if a team is primarily responsible for a match not taking place, a 28-0 victory will be awarded to the opposition that could have played the match.
“We wish the affected Fiji players well as they continue their recovery and are working closely with the Fiji team to ensure that they are able to field a competitive team against Italy. Further updates will follow once additional rounds of testing have been completed.”
By Liam Heagney, @RugbyPass