Wayne Pivac has revealed three players in his Wales squad were struck down by the coronavirus but have since successfully recovered. His team’s most recent fixture, the March 14 Guinness Six Nations clash with Scotland in Cardiff, was only called off at the 11th hour after officials finally realised the potential danger to health and safety in hosting a capacity 72,000 crowd at the Principality Stadium.
Welsh rugby soon went into lockdown following that match on-match off drama, but those measures haven’t been enough to keep everyone immune to the virus outbreak.
Speaking on New Zealand TV channel 1 NEWS after the first four matches in his tenure as new Wales boss, Pivac said: “It’s ripping through the communities here. At the moment we’ve had two or three cases that I’m aware of within our squad.”
While those players have thankfully recovered, the impact of the pandemic on the sport in Wales has been grave with pay cuts required to keep the business ticking over amid fears that the rest of the Test rugby calendar for 2020 – including Wales’ July trip to Pivac’s native New Zealand – could be cancelled due to the global health crisis.
“I don’t think anyone wants these games to be cancelled, we need them to be played. We need the money into the game for the game to survive. We’re all in the same boat there.”
Stirring stuff: “If no club breaks ranks and we all play for enjoyment…" https://t.co/upfw8JZOeb
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 16, 2020
Aside from having the postponed fixture with Scotland to fit in, Wales have a hectic November planned with matches set to be staged in Cardiff versus Fiji, New Zealand, Argentina and world champions South Africa, games they would hope go ahead as scheduled to provide some much-needed revenue.
Pivac’s early results in the Welsh job have been testing, his team losing to Ireland, France and England following an opening-round Six Nations win at the Principality over Italy.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now