Springbok flank Rynhardt Elstadt has been ruled out of Toulouse’s crucial Champions Cup playoff against Munster due to the stringent quarantine protocols in Ireland.
During the French Top 14’s recent break in play between 13 and 27 March, Elstadt – with permission from Toulouse – had returned home to South Africa to complete his commercial pilot’s license exam.
Elstadt flew back to Toulouse and sat out their match against Montpellier this past weekend due to his mandatory 10-day isolation period and only returned to squad training on Monday.
But because of the Irish government’s new Covid-19 measures concerning people who had stayed in or travelled to South Africa, Elstadt is now considered ineligible to line up against Munster.
Ireland had imposed a period of fourteen days between when a person left South Africa and time of entry into Ireland. With Toulouse set to arrive in Limerick on Thursday afternoon, it will have only been 12 days since Elstadt left South Africa.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Toulouse coach Ugo Mola said: ‘There was provision for rest but the period is obviously not conducive to going to the beach. He had an exam to complete to become an airline pilot and was allowed to leave, with the understanding that would have to honour the French Health Ministry’s 10-day isolation rule.’
Assistant coach Alan Zondagh is in a similar position, having also travelled to South Africa during the break.
Toulouse have made the requests for permission to have both Elstadt and Zondagh with them for the round-of-16 knockout match in Limerick, but Champions Cup organisers and the Irish government denied their requests.
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