Premiership still optimistic about restart despite 10 positive tests
Gallagher Premiership Rugby has revealed that there have been 10 positive results for coronavirus in its first round of testing, including six players and four staff.
Premiership Rugby’s infection rate of 1.2 per cent is regarded as a success by insiders and within the expected range of results. Barring a surge, they are on track to recommence league matches on Aug 14.
A total of 805 tests were carried out on Monday morning, while clubs were still in stage one of its return-to-play programme. The positive individuals will now be required to isolate for a fortnight along with those in close contact.
The testing regime, which was seen as the biggest barrier to the Premiership’s return, is being administered by Randox Health at an estimated cost of £100,000 a week. Saracens, Harlequins, Worcester Warriors and Northampton Saints have all confirmed that their clubs had returned positive cases.
Leicester scrum-half Ben Youngs said that he was unaware of any positive cases at the Tigers. “I would be naive to think out of 800 players being tested that you are not going to get a few,” Youngs said.
Premiership Rugby’s greatest challenge will be what happens once a positive test is returned from a forward involved in mauling practice. A track-and-trace operation has been set up to ensure affected individuals are identified quickly.