Plans to stage the Rugby Championship in New Zealand later this year could again come under revision after Argentina confirmed that several players tested positive for Covid-19.
The Argentina Rugby Union (UAR) on Saturday revealed that six members of the Pumas squad had tested positive for coronavirus. These players have been placed in isolation.
However, the news poses a probable threat to both New Zealand and Australia’s plans to host the Rugby Championship across November and December. Argentina were set to join South Africa and Australia in travelling to New Zealand for a revamped tournament.
Western Australia has been spoken about as a potential backup host as the number of Covid-19 cases have risen in New Zealand, with the country currently on level 2 lockdown until 17 September at least.
Those plans may have to be officially put to bed as there will be concern over admitting the Argentinian players into New Zealand or Australia as both countries will want to control as far as possible the spread of the coronavirus.
Argentina’s preparations for the tournament will also be affected by the need to quarantine the players now and again once they are admitted into Australia or New Zealand, if that is allowed.
‘After completing a new batch of PCR tests, in order to minimise the risk of contagion and be able to start the health bubble, the results yielded six positive cases of Covid-19 in the campus,’ the UAR said in a statement.
‘All of them [are] asymptomatic and already fulfilling preventive isolation. They are the players Juan Cruz Mallía, Emiliano Boffelli, Bautista Delguy, Rodrigo Fernández Criado, Bautista Pedemonte and Lucas Bur.’
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