Springboks rocked by Covid-19 close call in Brisbane - reports
The Springboks have survived a Covid-19 scare, according to reports out of Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the Rugby Championship avoided being thrown into fresh COVID-19 chaos after a member of the Springboks support staff returned a false positive test.
According to the SMH, the Springboks staff member initially returned a positive test and was immediately placed under investigation by Queensland Health after flying from Cape Town to Brisbane at the weekend.
The Australian newspaper reported that the staff member was on the charter flight alongside the rest of the Springboks and Los Pumas squad, who are completing “managed isolation” on the Gold Coast before the first of four double-headers kicks off in Queensland next weekend.
Aviation sources told the Herald staff on the plane had been alerted.
“We have processes in place with all the state health departments who we work with closely in regards to any positive cases on our flights,” a Qantas spokesperson said.
“Managed isolation” allows for players and staff to move between their hotel rooms and training facilities, but sources with knowledge of the situation told the Herald the Springboks and Los Pumas were all forced to isolate on Monday until the staff member completed further testing.
However, Herald revealed that the South African support staff member, who is fully vaccinated, has since returned a pair of negative tests.
A Rugby Australia spokesperson confirmed that the case had been deemed a false positive by Queensland Health.
The two teams will resume normal training on Tuesday.
The scare comes just days after SANZAAR and RA confirmed the final four rounds of the tournament would all be played in Queensland, kicking off on Sunday week.
If the case had been deemed genuinely positive, the tournament would have been thrown into fresh doubt as all Springboks and Los Pumas players and staff would have been unable to train in the lead-up to next Sunday’s matches at Cbus Super Stadium.
Meanwhile, the Springboks have postponed Monday (August 30) and Wednesday’s media briefing until further notice.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now