Autumn Nations Cup back on track after latest round of Fiji testing
Fiji have been given the all-clear after the latest round of testing on their players has been concluded, putting preparations for the Autumn Nations Cup firmly back on track.
Last week three players tested positive for the virus, leaving the backroom staff with the task of isolating and testing the rest of the squad. John O’Connor, the Fiji RFU chief executive, has now confirmed that three have now tested negative, as have all but one of the playing roster.
O’Connor confirmed that one player’s results remain inconclusive and he will undergo further testing. It’s good news for the Autumn Nations Cup organisers, who could do without a team being forced to withdraw.
The first match in the Autumn Nations Cup for Fiji is against France on 15 November followed by Italy on 21 November before travelling to Murrayfield to play Scotland in the final round on the 28th of November.
Cotter, assistant coach Glen Jackson and seven players in his Flying Fijians squad were involved in the Barbarians match preparations to face England which saw the game cancelled a week ago after 13 players left the team “bubble”. However, it has not been revealed if any of the seven have now been involved in the positive tests.
Fiji were scheduled to play Portugal in a warm-up game on November 6 but this has been shelved.
The majority of the Fiji squad are based in France where strict lockdown measures have been imposed to try and stem the increase in those being affected by the pandemic and organisers will want to know early next week if there is a significant problem with the Pacific Island nations squad.
Cotter took over as head coach of Fiji in January but due to the pandemic only had charge of his first full training run with his players on Friday at the Beaublanc Stadium in Limoges. The squad includes Leicester wing Nemani Nadolo who has come out of retirement and fellow backs Ben Volavola and Levani Botia.
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