Leicester have announced they have pulled the plug on all team training and have closed down their Oval Park training ground following an outbreak of Covid ahead of the start of the new 2020/21 Gallagher Premiership season. 

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Tigers open their campaign on November 21 at home to Gloucester. However, with Premiership Rugby announcing that 17 people from eight different clubs tested positive this week, Leicester have shut down their operation to try and contain the risk.   

A club statement issued on Thursday night read: “Leicester Tigers have taken the decision to stop all team training and close the club’s Oval Park training ground facility following a Covid-19 outbreak within the camp.

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“The club returned several positive tests for Covid-19 earlier this week following the latest round of Premiership Rugby’s Covid-19 screening programme, including members of the playing group and support staff.

“As well as those players and staff who have returned positive tests being isolated at home, several members of the squad and support staff were also instructed to isolate after being identified as close contacts. The club is working closely with Public Health England and Premiership Rugby to ensure the protocols in place are being followed across all departments to reduce the risk of any further incidents.

“Leicester Tigers takes its responsibility to maintain high standards extremely seriously at this time and is confident in the measures in place. Additional testing will take place on Friday for all players and staff ahead of Monday’s weekly testing in line with Premiership Rugby guidelines. All players will now continue their pre-season programme alone in their household bubbles while the Oval Park facility remains closed.

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“Health, wellbeing and safety are paramount and all players and staff are being monitored by Tigers medical staff, in addition to their families being offered support where necessary.

“Tigers have made the decision to pause all training commitments and close the training ground in a bid to maintain the integrity of the 2020/21 Gallagher Premiership season, which commences for the club on Saturday, November 21, as well as honouring our responsibilities to the Leicestershire community.”

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