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Saracens forced to concede Saturday's European game in France

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Getty Images)

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Saracens have forfeited next weekend’s Challenge Cup round two match at Pau following an outbreak of Covid-19 which resulted in them closing their training ground until Christmas Eve. Surprisingly beaten 21-18 last Saturday at home by Edinburgh, the Londoners were looking to go to France to get their European campaign back on track but they have now given their Top 14 opponents a 28-0  win. 

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A statement read: “Saracens can confirm that the club has experienced an outbreak of Covid-19 within the training ground environment leading to several positive Covid cases from the latest round of PCR testing which took place on Monday.

“The club has taken the immediate action of closing the training ground and isolating all players, coaches and support staff.

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We hear from France assistant Shaun Edwards
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We hear from France assistant Shaun Edwards

“We have been working closely with EPCR and PRL and it is with regret that our game versus Section Paloise in the EPCR Challenge Cup on Saturday has had to be forfeited by Saracens due to our inability to field a 23-man squad for this fixture.

“In addition to positive Covid-19 cases, we have players self-isolating due to being close contacts and a number of players who are currently injured. The need to forfeit the fixture will result in a 28-0 loss, and five match points to Pau as set out in the EPCR tournament rules.

“This is extremely disappointing for everyone at the club but as always the health and wellbeing of our people is our priority at this time. The squad will return to full training on December 24 following the necessary period of isolation. We would like to reassure our supporters that our Gallagher Premiership fixture versus Worcester Warriors on December 26 will still take place and we very much look forward to seeing you all at StoneX Stadium for a feast of festive rugby.”

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