Players and team managements in South Africa have been warned over their behaviour after a third match of the Super Rugby Unlocked tournament was cancelled on Tuesday – the Sharks were due to host the Stormers in Durban on Saturday but it has been called off following positive tests among the Sharks tighthead props.

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The cancellation is the third in recent weeks following the cancellation of the Lions matches against the Cheetahs and the Pumas, and the evolving situation has resulted in a caution being issued by SA Rugby to practice strict Covid-compliance measures to minimise the risk of further infection.

“Players and management are urged to employ extreme caution in their social engagement,” said Jurie Roux, SA Rugby CEO.

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“It only takes one careless interaction by a single player to have the knock-on effect that impacts on 45 other players, team managements, the schedule and potentially the destination of the title.

“As fit young athletes, it may be tempting to think that they are ‘immune’ to infection and are free of comorbidities that make them vulnerable. But a positive test for one of them can have massive repercussions. I trust that team managements will underline that message on a daily basis to their playing personnel.”

Elsewhere, the Pumas match against the Bulls – scheduled for Friday evening in Pretoria – has been pushed back until Saturday for player welfare reasons (kick-off time to be confirmed).

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The Pumas squad, which returned several positive tests last week, will be re-tested on Thursday. The results will be known on Friday, allowing time for a training session after ten days in isolation before meeting the Bulls on Saturday.

The Bulls currently lead the way in the seven-team Super Rugby tournament with four wins from five outings, two points clear of the second-place Stormers and the third-place Sharks who are now both idle next weekend. 

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