The Fiji rugby squad are attempting to calm fears that they will unable to take part in the Autumn Nations Cup by undergoing further COVID-19 testing tomorrow and Wednesday in a bid to face Italy on Saturday.

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Their participation in the eight team tournament was put into question when four positive tests, understood to include captain Semi Radradra, forced the cancellation of today’s match with France.

There is understandable frustration in the Fiji squad which has been training in France and has twice been struck by positive tests resulting in players having to isolate.

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Autumn Nations Cup organisers are desperate to get the rest of the fixtures played having agreed a deal worth a reported £20m with Amazon to televise matches that have been arranged to fill the fixture void created by the restrictions on travel to Europe for South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer John O’Connor told the Fiji Times: “Morale in camp is high but there is frustration since the team had prepared well and was looking forward to the match to kick off their campaign

“Based on the recommendation of the tournament medical board and expert advice on the high risk of the virus spreading to other players and to ensure player safety, wellbeing and welfare, the match has been cancelled.

“None of the players who have tested positive have any symptoms and all are healthy and doing well. Based on expert medical advice, effective immediately from last night, all players and team management have been placed under quarantine and are now isolated in their individual rooms.

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“Our medical team, with the support of the French Rugby Federation medical team, have started contact tracing and are monitoring the players with further tests planned for Monday and Wednesday, prior to the Italy match.”

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