Bulls vs B&I Lions match in doubt

Saturday’s match between the Bulls and British & Irish Lions in Pretoria is in doubt after it was reported that several Bulls players and a management member tested positive for Covid-19.

According to a report by Pretoria-based Brenden Nel on SuperSport.com, several Bulls players and a member of the team’s management returned positive tests on Monday evening just as the team was about to enter its bio-secure bubble for Saturday’s match at Loftus Versfeld.

The players and management member who tested positive – and another player who was in close contact – have subsequently been placed in isolation. The decision over whether Saturday’s game will go ahead rests with the Medical Advisory Committee (MAG), made up of medical experts from both the Springboks and British & Irish Lions.

The match against the Bulls was set to be the B&I Lions’ third-last game before the first Test against the Springboks in Cape Town. The Lions face the Sharks in Durban on Wednesday and, following the Bulls match, will face SA A and the Stormers in Cape Town.

This comes a day after the Springboks had to suspend training and go into isolation on Monday after lock Lood de Jager tested positive for Covid-19, putting Friday’s second Test against Georgia in doubt.

SA Rugby is set to provide more clarity on the situation after it has been fully assessed by the MAG, but there is still no clarity on whether the Springboks will announce their team as scheduled on Tuesday.

It was the second time in 10 days that the Springboks were forced to cancel training due to a Covid-19 positive test. Last week Monday, a trio of players – Vincent Koch, Sbu Nkosi and Herschel Jantjies – tested positive after the team gathered in Johannesburg. Jantjies was subsequently cleared, but two more players – Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am – had to go into isolation as they were in close contact with Nkosi. Mapimpi and Am have been cleared to play in Friday’s Test.


Photo: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images

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Dylan Jack