Has COVID nabbed Romain Poite?
Well, it’s not often someone coughing trends on Twitter but in the upside-down world of the COVID-19 pandemic that’s exactly where Romain Poite and his nasty cough have found themselves
Poite was refereeing Clermont and Racing 92’s Heineken Champions quarter final match but it wasn’t his decisions or refereeing that was drawing attention on social media it was his coughing!! Officials and players are regularly tested for coronavirus but via the ref mic the public could hear Poite coughing repetitively all during the match and this led to all sorts of speculation that the Frenchman could possibly have an undiagnosed case of the respiratory illness?
The 45 year old could be heard coughing so violently during the second half that he even hawked up phlegm and had to physically spit it out.
Scotland scrum half Ali Price wrote: “No doctor but Poite doesn’t scream health to me right now.”
No doctor but Poite doesn’t scream health to me right now ?? #CLER92
— Ali Price (@AlistairPrice) September 19, 2020
Former Scotland lock Jim Hamilton suggested he shouldn’t have come out for the second half: “Poite might/shouldn’t come out for the 2nd half. If he was school kid he wouldn’t be allowed back until… you know, he had a test. Just saying.”
Roman Poite has been coughing violently like this all throughout tonight’s Champions Cup game. Really worrying pic.twitter.com/M1E6yNDqVL
— Edward Barker (@EdwardB24376757) September 19, 2020
Ex England international Andy Goode posted: “Thinking that the whole of the Racing 92 match day squad will have to go into isolation after Romain Poite has been constantly coughing all game! So could next weeks Champions Cup semi final with Saracens be in jeopardy?!”
Sarries might have to launch a new European kit. pic.twitter.com/w1GYQDQ3nC
— Phil World (@phil_world88) September 19, 2020
Already this weekend, Castres have had to withdraw from their Challenge Cup quarter-final with Leicester Tigers which was to be scheduled at Welford Road. If Poite does Test positive, it could cause a serious issue for next weekend’s match.
It is the second time in three years that the two have met at this stage. Since Leone Nakarawa inspired Racing to victory that day en route to the 2018 final, Clermont have been on a streak in front of their own fans in Europe with eight consecutive wins on the trot.
That is the only Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final in which both clubs are looking to add their names to the tournament’s Roll of Honour for the first time. Of the 13 European Cups shared between the quarter-finalists, five are held between Toulouse and Ulster Rugby.