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England outbreak latest: 'No further cases'

Press Assocation

England’s outbreak of Covid-19 has produced no further cases following the latest round of PCR testing, the Rugby Football Union has confirmed.


Props Ellis Genge and Joe Marler are self-isolating after testing positive for the virus during the week and will miss Saturday’s Autumn Nations Series clash with Australia at Twickenham.

However, the remainder of the playing squad and backroom staff were given the green light to participate in the Cook Cup showdown.

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Scottish-born 21-year-old Bevan Rodd covers for the loss of Genge and Marler by making his debut at loosehead with Trevor Davison offering another option from the bench.

Genge will also miss the climax to the autumn against South Africa due to the requirement to isolate for 10 days, but Marler will be available.

England are targeting an unprecedented eighth successive victory over Australia and are odds-on favourites to protect Eddie Jones’ unblemished record against his compatriots.

Last night Ireland’s players have been given the all-clear to face New Zealand on Saturday after a “potential positive case” of coronavirus proved to be a false alarm.


Andy Farrell’s entire squad and management team underwent additional PCR testing on Friday following the news that one player had returned a positive result.

The individual and an identified close contact were immediately isolated before further examinations were carried out.

He subsequently returned two negative tests and has been given permission by public health officials to face the All Blacks at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Ireland will therefore stick with the 23-man squad announced by head coach Farrell on Thursday.


“The individual who produced a positive test has subsequently had two PCR tests at two separate labs, returning negative results on both,” read a statement from the Irish Rugby Football Union.

“The player and the identified close contact have been cleared by public health and the tournament organisers to take their places in the matchday squad.”

England captain Owen Farrell – son of Ireland coach Andy – last week missed his country’s win over Tonga following a positive result which later turned out to be false.

Ireland had placed back-up players on standby for the visit of the Kiwis and were prepared to tweak their line-up if required.

Yet defence coach Simon Easterby said during his Friday afternoon press conference that there was no danger of the fixture being cancelled.

Confirmation the Irish would not be forced into personnel changes came around seven-and-a-half hours after news of the potential positive was first announced.


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