Munster, Cardiff forced to remain in SA due to Covid-19 cases
NEWS: Munster and Cardiff will not be heading home on Sunday due to positive Covid-19 cases in their squads.
Those two teams, along with Scarlets and Italian side Zebre, were all set to depart Cape Town on Sunday via a charter flight.
However, Munster and Cardiff have both now decided to stay behind and go into isolation.
“This [Sunday] morning Munster Rugby were making plans to join their fellow URC sides in departing Cape Town for Dublin by charter,” said a statement from the Irish side.
“After arriving at their hotel in Cape Town late last night [Saturday] the squad underwent a round of PCR testing ahead of today’s possible departure.
“The returning results have identified one positive case.
“In taking all precautions and prioritising the health and wellbeing of everyone Munster Rugby will not travel today and will return to their hotel for an isolation period as a matter of priority.
“The province will await further guidance from the health authorities.”
Cardiff confirmed that they have two positive cases in their squad.
“Cardiff Rugby have been unable to depart South Africa following two positive cases of Covid-19, one of which is suspected to be the new variant Omicron,” they said in a statement.
“The travelling party had hoped to depart Cape Town this [Sunday] afternoon after a charter plane was secured, however PCR tests undertaken last night have returned two positive results.
“As a consequence of one of these results suspected of being Omicron, the entire travelling party have returned to their hotel to isolate.
“Cardiff Rugby continue to work with the South African Rugby Union, the Welsh Rugby Union and public health authorities both at home and abroad to decide the next course of action.
“The club are also continuing to work with all relevant authorities to secure the travelling party’s return to Wales when safe and appropriate.
“Everybody concerned in this highly challenging situation would like to thank their families, friends, colleagues and the wider rugby family for their many messages of concern and well wishes.”
Round Six and Seven of the United Rugby Championship was thrown into chaos after the emergence of a new variant of COVID-19.
On Friday, it was announced that all matches scheduled to take place in South Africa in those rounds were postponed after the country was placed on the UK and EU travel red list.
Organisers said those matches would be rescheduled for later this season.
Travel Update #MunsterInSA 🇿🇦
Munster Rugby will remain in Cape Town while we wait on next steps from the health authorities after returning one positive case in our latest testing.
Thanks for all the messages of support and best wishes.#SUAF 🔴
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) November 28, 2021