Irish Rugby’s virus-free status remains intact after their Sevens programmes personnel were tested, yielding zero positive results.
The union has been testing all its professionals in the two months, and unlike other professional rugby playing organizations, is yet to register a positive. Earlier this week in England, the number of Gallagher Premiership players who have tested positive for the virus since they commenced their weekly testing rose to 19. Four more players were found to have the virus when tested on July 27.
Ireland still has a clean bill of health. An IRFU statement reads: “The IRFU (Irish Rugby Football Union) can confirm that the first round of PCR testing of the men’s and women’s national 7s squads produced zero positive results. 47 players and staff were tested this week.
“The staff and players have been cleared to access the IRFU’s High Performance Centre at the Sport Ireland campus from Tuesday 4th August. Access at this stage is limited to the outdoor pitches, elite gym and rehabilitation suite.
“The players and staff will undergo daily medical screening and assessment and train in pods in the first phase of their return to rugby.
“There have been 607 negative tests in Irish Rugby to date and 0 positive results.”
On Thursday, Leinster and Munster have both produced zero positive results for Covid-19 following the latest round of PCR testing. The IRFU confirmed that a total of 153 players and staff were tested across the two provinces, with all tests coming back clear.
The results mean staff and players at both provinces have been cleared to enter the next phase of their return to rugby, which includes a graduated return to contact training.
Leinster and Munster are both set to return to competitive action with an eagerly-anticipated Guinness Pro14 derby at the Aviva Stadium on August 22.
A week later all four teams will be back at the stadium as Ulster play Leinster and Munster play Connacht.
Irish Rugby’s Medical Director Rod McLoughlin noted this week: “The second round of PCR testing is now complete ahead of the graduated return to contact. The players and staff will continue to undergo daily medical screening and assessment. The next phase of testing will take place ahead of the Guinness PRO14 fixtures in August.”
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