Premiership Rugby have confirmed that Harlequins’ Gallagher Premiership Rugby match against Worcester Warriors, scheduled for New Year’s Day, has been called off as the London club are unable to field a team for the game on Friday. It’s believed that following this week’s league-wide round of PCR testing, Harlequins had a number of players placed in isolation following the contact tracing protocols.

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A Premiership Rugby spokesperson said: “We would never cancel a match lightly, as we understand the consequences but we will always put health and safety first.

“Neither Premiership Rugby nor the club will be naming any of the players or staff involved and we would ask everyone to respect their privacy.”

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Ex-England hooker Brian Moore in conversation with Jim Hamilton

A follow-up statement from Harlequins read: “Following the Boxing Day fixture versus Bristol Bears, the club returned one positive test from this week’s round of PCR testing. 

“Following a forensic contact tracing process of the club’s game last weekend and training so far this week, a further six players have been ruled out of selection, preventing the club from fielding a full front row for the match against Worcester. In accordance with PHE guidelines, the seven players will now go into a ten-day isolation period.

“Harlequins have taken a further measure of standing players down from training for a week to contain any further transmission and to minimise the use and possible contamination of the training facility, such is the need to protect the health and well-being of players and staff.”

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Bath versus London Irish and Newcastle versus Leicester were called off last weekend due to the virus. Under the Premiership Rugby regulations, a panel will now be convened to determine the allocation of points for the cancelled Worcester versus Harlequins game and a further announcement will be made in due course (click here to read the regulations).  

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