After Wasps announced that four more members of their playing department (three players, one staff) have tested positive for Covid-19 this week, the reaction has not been all that surprising. This puts the chances of Wasps making the Gallagher Premiership final against newly crowned Champions Cup champions Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in jeopardy, with Bristol Bears on standby to replace them. 

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A statement released by Wasps said: “After consultation with the medical leads at Premiership Rugby, the RFU and Public Health England, the club will continue not to train at this stage. 

“A decision on whether the club will play in Saturday’s Premiership Rugby final will be made following the results of a further set of testing to be undertaken on Tuesday. Exeter Chiefs and Bristol Bears have been made aware of the situation prior to the public release of this information.”

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Wasps boss Lee Blackett on his club’s 2020 campaign

There is widespread dissatisfaction with the plans in place, but any option taken is not favourable in a season that is already unique enough. 

One common criticism is that a team that lost the semi-final should not have the chance to potentially win the league. Moreover, Bristol were comprehensively beaten by Wasps in their play-off clash.

 

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Another problem relates to Sale Sharks, who were initially given a postponement before forfeiting their final game of the season due to coronavirus, therefore depriving them of a chance of making the knockout stages. This is of course a different stage in the competition, but that should not make a difference in many people’s eyes.

If Wasps are unable to make the final, regardless of whether Bristol go to Twickenham or not, one thing that has been raised is that this takes the shine off what has been a remarkable season at the Ricoh Arena. 

The Coventry side were floundering near the foot of the table when Dai Young departed from the club in February. Under new head coach Lee Blackett, Wasps mounted a miraculous climb up the table, finishing the season in second. 

There is certainly no guarantee that they would conquer a seemingly indomitable Chiefs side at Twickenham on Saturday, but to be robbed of the chance of capping one of the league’s most remarkable turnarounds is a devastating twist. Then again, that may be a befitting ending to the most turbulent season ever. 

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https://twitter.com/shrekwasp/status/1318188724052742145?s=20

https://twitter.com/joshuaplummeruk/status/1316461112834117633?s=20

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