Bristol have been forced to cut short their celebrations after winning the Challenge Cup on Friday as they await news on whether they will be drafted in to contest Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final. Wasps are due to take on Exeter Chiefs in the Twickenham decider but the Coventry club’s participation is in major doubt as they battle an outbreak of Covid-19.
Wasps had been forced to cancel training last week after members of both the playing squad and backroom staff tested positive for Covid-19, with the club today confirming that four more members of the playing department have returned positive tests.
A decision on whether Wasps can participate in the Premiership final will be made following a further set of testing tomorrow, the results of which are expected on Wednesday.
If Wasps are unable to face newly-crowned European champions Exeter, then Bristol will take their place in the final on the strength of finishing third in the league.
But Bristol boss Pat Lam has acknowledged that if the Bears do get the call to play at Twickenham, it will be unsatisfactory.
“We absolutely believe that Wasps and Exeter should be contesting this final. They thoroughly deserve it,” said Lam, who will have to cancel his family holiday if Wasps do succumb to the virus.
“Lee has done an unbelievable job and it’s fantastic for the Premiership to see what Exeter did on Saturday in winning the Champions Cup.
James Lowe is expected to make his Ireland debut next month. ??https://t.co/tPFP4LnChh
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 19, 2020
“We ourselves have been put in a situation that isn’t ideal, but everything with Covid isn’t ideal, including the fact we’re waiting for the final to be played now at the end of the season we’ve had.
“We are competitors with a lot of pride. I have no doubt, 100 per cent, that it’s about flicking that switch. We showed last weekend that we are rugby-ready. It’s not like it’s the start of the season. We’re ready to go.
“It’s just flicking the switch from a well-deserved celebration to there’s one more game we’ve got to go for, potentially.
“We’ve started that process with boys who were just about to open some beers… and stopped. Now it’s about waiting to see what happens. We’re either going to get the thumbs-up to go on holiday or we’re in the final.”
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