The RFU and Premiership Rugby appear to be ending their relationship with Randox Health, the testing company that was responsible for an error that saw false positives for a number of Bath Rugby players at the start of the year.
In January an “operator error” at Randox’s Laboratories saw the number of positive tests was incorrectly reported to the Premiership Rugby clubs, with Bath heavily hit.
The club ultimately placed a large number of players and staff into self-isolation after being told by Randox that they had returned 19 positives.
While Randox assured Premiership Rugby that it was an isolated incident, it seems that English rugby is moving in a different direction less than two months after the costly gaffe.
SourceBio International say they will now be providing testing services to both the England senior team and the 12 Premiership clubs. There are also plans to roll out testing for the RFU Championship as part of the deal.
The company will effectively take over Randox’s service, providing scheduled player and staff testing. Player swabs from individuals will be couriered to the group’s laboratory facility in Nottingham for PCR Testing, with results turned around in under 24 hours.
“Under the agreement SourceBio will provide COVID-19 testing services to England Rugby Senior Men’s squad and support staff and to all 12 Premiership Rugby clubs players and staff. In addition, the RFU is also looking to roll-out this testing service to RFU Championship clubs who will be able to use this agreement to access the services provided by SourceBio.”
“We are very pleased to support elite rugby return to play protocols using our state-of-the-art laboratories to allow elite rugby in England to continue to safely operate within current social distancing measures,” SourceBio executive chairman Jay LeCoque said in a statement.
Speaking at the time of the Randox error, Bath Rugby’s Chief Executive, Tarquin McDonald said: “The health and safety of our people, the community and wider public remains the key focus for us all. We have worked closely with Public Health England who are clear that this was a specific instance of human error by Randox and not a wider outbreak. It is a huge and welcome relief to understand that this was a false alarm. However, this has caused huge disruption to our players, staff and to our training environment during an important two week break from games.”
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