'How come the Lions' bubble is working?': Boks' bubble under scrutiny
The news that 10 members of the Springboks camp have tested positive for Covid-19 has sent shockwaves through the rugby world, with doubt creeping over the remaining viability of the British & Irish Lions tour.
The outbreak comes after lock Lood de Jager had already tested positive and begun isolating.
With the wider outbreak amongst the Springbok team, the certainty over whether the British & Irish Lions tour will be completed is up in the air. The Lions are due to play the Sharks on Thursday but Saturday’s fixture against the Bulls has been postponed.
Rugby media all over the world reacted to the news with a mix of shock, anger and disbelief. UK scribe Sam Peters wrote ‘this tour should never have happened’ and highlighted it as ‘another example of pro rugby putting profit over people’.
Controversial pundit Stephen Jones said the tour ‘seems ill-fated’, while Irish writer Ruaidhri O’Connor said he felt sorry for the players stuck in this situation for what should have been a career highlight.
It's the Lions players I feel sorry for, this should be the highlight of their careers and it's an utter mess
— Rúaidhrí O'Connor (@RuaidhriOC) July 6, 2021
Never thought I’d say this but does anyone actually care the Lions tour is happening? It will come again but this tour should never have happened. Another example of pro rugby putting profit over people.
— Sam Peters (@sam_sportsnews) July 6, 2021
Told ya the Lions should have just come to NZ.
— Jamie Wall (@JamieWall2) July 6, 2021
Look, all I'm saying is that I'd make time in my Saturday to watch a Lions Test Probables vs Test Possibles tear-up.
— Charlie Morgan (@CharlieFelix) July 6, 2021
This Lions tour is turning into a farce. They shouldn’t be anywhere near South Africa and proves my point even more the Lions only care about a pound note.
— Neil Fissler (@neilfissler) July 6, 2021
The Lions tour seems ill-fated. Covid in the Boks camp and also in the Bulls camp, preparing for Saturday's game. If the Lions lose even one match from short tour it is very doubtful,if all the players can make a proper case for Test selection. So frustrating
— Stephen Jones (@stephenjones9) July 6, 2021
Tour was ill-fated before arriving in SA. Flew into the eye of a Covid storm. Except, everyone knew that and still went ahead with it ?? https://t.co/vtnOrMqPUU
— Gary Lemke (@GaryLemke) July 6, 2021
mustn't lose sight of the fact that there are 20 people with Covid between the Bulls, Boks and Georgians. It's not just about rugby, but their health too. #LionsRugby
— Craig Ray (@craigray11) July 6, 2021
With the outbreak among the Springboks comes scrutiny as to how this actually happened, with many questioning what exactly are the protocols around the Springboks bubble given they are at home.
With the Lions camp free of any cases, fans begun asking why the Lions’ bubble is working but the Springboks isn’t. Some fans online wanted an explanation into how the Springboks bubble works, and whether the players are vaccinated.
No matter how it happened. How come the Lions’ bubble is working?
— Kristine Janse Van (@JanseKristine) July 6, 2021
Are the guys still being allowed to go home on weekends?
Surely by now the Boks should be in a permanent bubble to make sure there are no possible risks.
— TheYellowCapSports (@YellowCapSports) July 5, 2021
Please can you explain how the bubble actually works. Why was it not secure enough?
— Finniegan (@Finnie9) July 6, 2021
Who broke the bubble?
— Daniel Steyn (@DSSteyn) July 6, 2021
It’s as if they don’t want to play the Series the way Springboks are so careless about BIO BUBBLE!
— RHABULA ?? (@SportsInterval) July 6, 2021
Lions bubble seems strangely more secured… what are the boys doing ? Come on now
— Brice Oka (@briceoka) July 5, 2021
While the Springboks bubble has burst, the Blue Bulls franchise also has come apart with four cases of their own. Georgia, who played the Springboks on the weekend, also have cases within their squad.
SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux warned of the worsening situation in a statement and said everyone is awaiting more data. He said the integrity of the test series must be maintained as the priority.
“These positive results are a setback and have underlined the danger of transmissibility of the delta variant,” Roux said.
“The Springboks’ second test against Georgia is now in serious doubt, but we will wait for the MAG to consider the data and we will make the final decision tomorrow [Wednesday].
“The priority is to maintain the integrity of the test series and we will continue to focus on that.”
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