Next Saturday's Bulls vs Lions match under threat of cancellation
Next Saturday’s Lions match versus the Vodacom Bulls is apparently under the threat of cancellation after a report emerged in South Africa alleging that there have been several positive tests for Covid-19 among Jake White’s squad.
A story on supersport.com in advance of the planned Lions media activities on Tuesday claimed that some players had tested positive for the virus just as they were set to enter a five-day bio-bubble ahead of a match that is the third game in South Africa for Warren Gatland’s tourists.
With the tour running to a strict schedule, the match would unlikely be rescheduled if it is not able to go ahead as planned next weekend in Pretoria as the Lions are set to move to their Cape Town base following the game as preparations ramp up towards the Test series opener versus the Springboks on July 24.
The Springboks themselves have been in virus trouble this week in the lead-up to this Friday’s scheduled match versus Georgia, a positive test concerning Lood de Jager resulting in their training camp being shut down, everyone getting placed in isolation and the planned Tuesday announcement of their team selection being put on ice.
The Bulls, who were defeated by Benetton in Treviso in the Rainbow Cup final on June 19, have isolated their affected players and their close contacts, but a decision on the viability of the fixture will now rest with a medical advisory committee comprising of experts from both the Lions and Springbok teams and the CEOs of both the Lions and SA Rugby.
— Brenden Nel (@BrendenNel) July 6, 2021
This advisory committee had already been deliberating what the next step was for the Springboks after news of their shutdown emerged on Monday. De Jager had been in England until the end of Sale’s Gallagher Premiership title bid at the semi-final stage last month and his positive test was the second recent outbreak affecting the Springboks.
Vincent Koch and S’bu Nkosi both tested positive when the squad assembled in Johannesburg and close contacts with Nkosi, Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi, were placed in isolation. An initial positive test concerning Herschelle Jantjies was eventually deemed a false positive and he featured in last Friday’s win over Georgia.
In @BenKay5 first Lions column for @RugbyPass he says Courtney Lawes has put his hand up for a Test start and pinpoints the defensive frailties that need tightening up ahead of the Sharks game. https://t.co/0pOYd6kq52
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 5, 2021
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