Bristol boss Pat Lam has insisted the cancellation of Sale’s Gallagher Premiership clash with Worcester was the only viable option. The Sharks forfeited their rearranged final-round fixture after producing more positive tests for coronavirus.
That lifted the total number personnel at the club with Covid-19 to 27 and made Wednesday night’s showdown unsafe to play. The Rugby Football Union are now investigating Premiership Rugby’s handling of the outbreak amid concern for the reputation of the game.
“Everyone knows that common sense prevailed. The most important thing now is to give our thoughts and prayers to all the guys who have it and their families,” Lam said. “And that’s not only at Sale but the other clubs as well. The wellbeing of all players and families is the most important thing and that’s why common sense has prevailed.
“It wasn’t about a rugby issue, it was about the risk involved. It’s not just rugby, it’s everybody. Wherever we go, we’re living in these times and sport isn’t exempt from that.”
The end of Sale’s quest to reach the play-offs means Bristol will travel to Coventry to face Wasps in Saturday’s first semi-final. “It’s massive for us to have finished in the top four. It’s not easy to do. There are so many good teams in the Premiership,” Lam said.
Refusing to twist the knife https://t.co/TjQVj9IuqC
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 7, 2020
“Getting there is one thing, now it’s about getting to the next stage. We said top six was our goal and we’ve achieved that. We have to understand that Wasps are on fire at the moment and are tough at their house. It’s going to be a great semi-final because you have two teams who want to play.
“It’s a great pitch and the forecast will be good. Wasps are playing with smiles on their faces. They are playing with freedom and they’re on top of their game. They’ll be excited, we’re excited and no doubt it will be a cracker of a game.”
“As rugby clubs around the country we are probably in our most dangerous period – and I include us in that”
– The feeling from Exeter as the 2019/20 season comes down to the wire in England and Europe with instances of Covid-19 on the rise at large https://t.co/YWu90Lb0tk
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 8, 2020
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now