Sale decision to allow skipper Jono Ross go on holiday hit by the UK's revised quarantine red list
Sale are waiting to discover when captain Jono Ross will be allowed back into Britain following a trip home to South Africa followed by a holiday in the Maldives, an area that was just added to the UK’s red list. That changed status will mean that the Sharks back-rower, who was allowed to return to South Africa with his wife and young child, will face a delay in being available to play again for the Gallagher Premiership club.
Sale have four matches remaining before the end-of-season playoffs and club boss Alex Sanderson has resigned himself to being without his skipper until the final two rounds of matches, starting with the June 4 home game versus Harlequins.
With the Maldives now on the UK red list, travellers who arrive from there are immediately taken to a designated quarantine hotel where they must stay for ten days. That is the same problem Ross would have faced if he had remained in South Africa, but the Maldives were on the green list when he went there and was only added in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Aside from this quarantine red tape, it must also be factored in how Ross is recovering from the concussions that prompted the decision by Sale to let him see his family in South Africa after a long period in England due to the pandemic.
“Jono hasn’t seen his parents for two years and has got a little girl and has been like everyone else in self-imposed isolation during the lockdown,” explained Sanderson. “For me, it was about doing the right thing for him and that was to let him go back and see his parents in South Africa and with the Maldives on a red list we need to get him back. He is trying to come back from the Maldives now and I’m not aware of all the red tape involved. He should be back for the last couple of games with his concussion protocols and we can’t bring him back before then anyway.”
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Sanderson, who has seen his team cement their position in the Premiership’s top three, added that Manu Tuilagi will return to training next week for the first time since injuring his achilles last September. He is also expecting scrum-half Faf de Klerk to continue his outstanding recent form. “Manu is brilliant and faster and stronger than I have ever seen him. He is close to returning and is back for training next week. We’re prepping him and if he hits all his makers you will see him back on the pitch soon.
“Faf de Klerk is a golden unicorn – set him free and he will do magical things. The players are so excited about getting playoff recognition that they missed out on last season. They do feel cheated.”
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