Wed 20 Jan 2021 | 02:15

COVID-19: Proudfoot tests positive as virus hits England camp

COVID-19: Proudfoot tests positive as virus hits England camp
Wed 20 Jan 2021 | 02:15
COVID-19: Proudfoot tests positive as virus hits England camp
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NEWS: England forward coach Matt Proudfoot has tested positive for COVID-19 and is self-isolating, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) announced on Wednesday.

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The test was carried out as part of England’s tournament testing regime for the upcoming Six Nations. He is not displaying any symptoms.

Head coach Eddie Jones and Simon Amor have been identified as contacts and will also isolate for a 10-day period, in accordance with government guidelines.

Jones will join up with his squad ahead of their Six Nations title defence a week on Thursday, a day after the players go into gamp at St George’s Park – the England football team’s training base.

“England coach Matt Proudfoot has tested positive for COVID-19 and is self-isolating. He is not displaying any symptoms,” an RFU statement said.

“Head coach Eddie Jones and (attack coach) Simon Amor have been identified as contacts and will also isolate for a 10-day period, in accordance with (UK) government guidelines.

An RFU spokeswoman said the rest of England’s staff would meet up as scheduled from January 25, with Jones able to join those sessions remotely.

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England are due to name a Six Nations squad on Friday, with their title defence set to begin at home to Scotland on February 6.

Wednesday’s announcement came just a day after the RFU confirmed Jason Ryles, their newly appointed skills coach, would not be joining the side for the tournament.

Ryles and his family decided against relocating from Australia to London this month because of the British lockdown in response to the coronavirus, with new arrivals from Down Under also having to quarantine for 10 days.

Former Australia rugby league international Ryles joined England on a permanent basis during the successful Nations Cup campaign late last year having previously worked under Jones as a defence consultant.

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Ed Robinson will replace Ryles the RFU confirmed on Wednesday.

Robinson, who is assistant coach at Greene King IPA Championship side Jersey Reds, will be part of Eddie Jones’ staff for the tournament.

Jones said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming Ed to our coaching staff for the tournament and we’d like to thank Jersey Reds for their cooperation and support in making it happen.

“He’s a talented young coach and will work to help the players improve.

“We understand and support Jason’s decision and are expecting that he will be back with us this summer.”

Whether the Six Nations goes ahead as scheduled remains uncertain after French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu said last week she needed further “guarantees” from other governments to allow France to travel to Ireland and England.

Les Bleus are set to open the tournament at Italy on February 6 before heading to Dublin a week later and Twickenham on March 13 but French authorities are worried about a new variant of Covid-19 in Britain and Ireland.

Her comments came after this month’s final two rounds of pool matches in the European Champions and Challenge Cups were suspended because of French Covid-safety concerns.

The Top 14 and the Pro14 have moved domestic fixtures to fill the gaps over the next two weekends but the English Premiership decided to take a mid-season break.

 

 

PV: 69
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