Sharks ready to 'forfeit'
REACTION: Sale Sharks have released a strong statement in response to rumours regarding the source of the high number of positive COVID-19 cases at the club.
An outbreak of COVID-19 at Sale prompted the postponement of the club’s final league match against Worcester Warriors, scheduled for Sunday, to this Wednesday, while Gloucester’s game with Northampton Saints was cancelled due to Saints players self-isolating after playing Sale.
There have been suggestions that Sale’s squad had been out in central Manchester celebrating their recent Premiership Cup win, leading to the outbreak of COVID, but the club has strongly denied these allegations.
Sale has instead outlined that they believe the outbreak could be the result of a possible ‘false-negative’ test.
The club has also confirmed that they are willing to forfeit Wednesday’s rescheduled meeting with Worcester if ‘the club feel it is not safe to play and/or receive one additional positive test’.
“Following an internal investigation, Sale Sharks refute all recent allegations made in the national press and by other leading figures from Premiership Rugby clubs, regarding Sale Sharks’ players being in central Manchester or on university campuses following the Premiership Rugby Cup final on Monday 21st September,” the statement read.
“Sale Sharks is unable at this moment to confirm the cause of the COVID-19 outbreak at the club. We suspect that the cause of the outbreak is related to a ‘false-negative’ test result received in respect of one of our players.”
“Even though the club did have an entirely compliant matchday squad available to play on Sunday, Worcester Warriors expressed concern on health grounds about completing the fixture as scheduled.
“Sale Sharks accepted these concerns as legitimate so agreed to postpone the game until the following Wednesday, in order to allow Sale Sharks’ players and staff to undergo a further round of testing.
“If the club feels it is not safe to play and/or receive one additional positive test, Sale Sharks will forfeit their Premiership Round 22 match with Worcester Warriors in order to ensure the health and safety of all concerned.”
“Sale Sharks would like to thank those who have expressed concern for the welfare of our players and staff during this challenging period.”
“We have followed every single protocol. There is no breach of protocol done deliberately.”
What exactly has happened at Sale Sharks? How have things got so bad?
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) October 4, 2020