Premiership Rugby have recorded their healthiest week yet ahead of next month’s Gallagher Premiership restart, just two players testing positive for coronavirus in the latest round of tests. It brings the number of people who have tested positive for the virus in the three weeks of testing to 21 – 15 players and six non-playing members of staff.

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A statement from the English league’s governing body read: “Premiership Rugby can confirm that on Monday, July 20, 896 players and club staff were tested as part of the PCR COVID-19 screening programme. Of these, two people have tested positive. Of those two, who are from different clubs, both are players.

“The players who have tested positive and their close contacts will now isolate and be assessed in line with the PHE-agreed guidelines.

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“Premiership Rugby and the RFU are providing this aggregated information for competition integrity and transparency. No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided. The number of positive results will be made public after each round of testing.

“The rise in those tested since week one (from 804) reflects several factors, including the integration of more academy players – as we expected – into senior stage two training at our clubs.”

Premiership officials had to confirm last Friday that its coronavirus testing programme would continue as normal despite UK government calls for care homes and the general public to stop using tests made by the same company that English rugby were using. 

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Health secretary Matt Hancock told MPs that swabs provided by Randox Health were “not up to the usual high standard”, with the government halting the use of the company’s Covid-19 testing kits. 

However, Premiership bosses revealed their testing kits contained different swabs from government stock, leaving the top-tier clubs free to continue with the current programme.

PREMIERSHIP RUGBY CORONAVIRUS TEST RESULTS

Week One (July 6) – 804 players and club staff were tested. Of these, ten people tested positive. Of those ten, six were players and four non-playing staff.

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Week Two (July 13) – 856 players and club staff were tested. Of these, nine people tested positive. Of those nine, seven were players and two non-playing staff.

Week Three (July 20) – 896 players and club staff were tested. Of these, two players have tested positive.

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