Boks bio-bubble branded 'impeccable' despite two outbreaks inside 10 days
Bulls CEO Edgar Rathbone has praised SA Rugby’s handling of the British and Irish Lions tour as “impeccable” despite two Covid outbreaks in the Springboks squad and his own team’s postponement of their fixture with the touring team on Saturday due to positive tests.
The Bulls game was postponed on Tuesday due to members of the squad testing positive for Covid-19 before entering the bio-bubble for the fixture and it came as the Springboks confirmed that four players and six members of management had tested positive after lock Lood de Jager had tested positive on Monday. Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber was one of the members of management to return a positive test result.
Despite the impact of the positive tests Rathbone maintained support for SA Rugby telling News24: “The amount of work that has gone in from SA Rugby’s side to just make this tour happen is unbelievable. You can’t really fault them on that. I don’t think anybody could have planned for this Delta variant and how contagious that has been over the last three weeks in Gauteng.
“I can’t imagine anyone being able to fault the work that SA Rugby has done … it’s been impeccable in these very trying times. Since the pandemic started in April last year, if you just look at the amount of rugby we’ve been able to play through all of this, it’s actually unbelievable. Even with this latest outbreak in our system, they (SA Rugby) turned every stone to try and make this happen.”
“There are still a few weeks to go before the first Test match. I think there is more than enough time for both teams to prepare.”
The situation is further complicated by serious doubts over the Springboks second test with Georgia taking place on Friday as the Georgians have also returned four positive cases. There are growing concerns that for the Lions tour to continue the three-test series will have to take place in Cape Town, scrapping the plans to hold two in Gauteng.
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