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Priestland the latest Cardiff player to speak out over Covid-19 chaos

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)

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Cardiff standoff Rhys Priestland is the latest player to speak out over the welfare of players caught up in Covid-19 chaos resulting from fears around a new variant of the virus.

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Priestland took to social media after it was confirmed that players were being forced to enter a second phase of isolation back in the UK. He is the second player to do so after fullback Matthew Morgan branded the saga a “shambles” last week, comments he later apologised for.

Yesterday Cardiff Rugby confirmed the repatriation of their remaining squad and staff members from South Africa ahead of their Heineken Champions Cup clash with Toulouse.

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A statement reads: “While the club are pleased to repatriate the individuals, they must now enter a second 10-day period of isolation at a Government approved hotel, having already quarantined for 10 days at a South African Covid-19 facility.

“Cardiff Rugby continue to work with its partners in discussing this matter with the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

“This is a situation which impacts hundreds of people returning from red list countries, who have already served a 10-day quarantine following a positive Covid-19 test. We are seeking clarification from DCMS as to why a second quarantine is required for the individuals in this unique situation.

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“The main priority of Cardiff Rugby remains to support the health and wellbeing of our people and we will continue to work alongside the relevant parties to deliver the best outcome.”

Priestland wrote on social media, tagging in a number of Welsh politicians: “Some will end up quarantining at a hotel for a minimum of 24 days!!

“What toll will this have on their physical and mental wellbeing as well as that of their families at home?”

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Cardiff have been forced to name a weakened side for this weekend’s clash with Toulouse.

CARDIFF RUGBY: Jacob Beetham; Theo Cabango, Josh Adams, Willis Halaholo, Dan Fish; Jason Tovey, Tomos Williams; Rowan Jenkins, Iestyn Harris, Will Davies-King, Alun Lawrence, Seb Davies, Ellis Jenkins (capt.), Olly Robinson, James Botham

REPLACEMENTS: Evan Yardley, Joe Cowell, Geraint James, Rhys Anstey, Alex Everett, Ethan Lloyd, Ioan Evans, Ryan Wilkins

Player unavailable due to travel restrictions:
Forwards: Brad Thyer, Theo Bevacqua, Corey Domachowski, Rhys Carré, Liam Belcher, Kristian Dacey, Kirby Myhill, Dmitri Arhip, Keiron Assiratti, Scott Andrews, Matthew Screech, Rory Thornton, Teddy Williams, Will Boyde, Gwilym Bradley, Josh Turnbull, James Ratti, Shane Lewis-Hughes;
Backs: Lloyd Williams, Ellis Bevan, Jamie Hill, Jarrod Evans, Rhys Priestland, Ben Thomas, Max Llewellyn, Garyn Smith, Harri Millard, Jason Harries, Aled Summerhill, Owen Lane, Hallam Amos, Matthew Morgan.

Unavailable due to injury or suspension: Rey Lee-Lo, Dillon Lewis, Josh Navidi, Mason Grady, Luke Scully, Sam Moore, Efan Daniel, Ben Burnell, Cameron Winnett, Gwilym Evans

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