South Africa’s preparations thrown into chaos as THREE players test positive for Covid – Asia Despatch

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Lions tour preparations are thrown into chaos as THREE South Africa players – Vincent Koch, Sbu Nkosi and Herschel Jantjies – test positive for Covid, forcing the entire Springboks squad into isolation before British and Irish team fly in TONIGHT

  • South Africa rugby squad in disarray after three players tested positive for Covid
  • The Springboks cancelled training and put the entire squad into self-isolation
  • Further squad activities are suspended pending specialist medical advice 
  • The British and Irish Lions fly out to South Africa for the Test series on Sunday 

The South African rugby team was plunged into chaos on Sunday after three  members of the squad – Sbu Nkosi, Vincent Koch and Herschel Jantjies – tested positive for Covid-19, forcing them to cancel their planned training session. 

Following routine testing protocols ahead of the Springbok’s upcoming series against the British and Irish Lions, the team said the players tested positive for the virus after taking PCR tests on arrival at the training base in Johannesburg. 

The Lions, who ran out comfortable 28-10 winners in their warm-up game against Japan on Saturday, fly to South Africa tonight with their hosts plans in disarray.

The British and Irish Lions fly out to South Africa for the tour on Sunday having beaten Japan

The British and Irish Lions fly out to South Africa for the tour on Sunday having beaten Japan

The Springboks said they took the decision to cancel training ‘as a precautionary measure’ and put the squad into self-isolation pending further specialist medical advice. 

‘A decision on further team activities will be made shortly’, the team said in a statement, with South Africa due to play the first of two warm-up matches against Georgia on 2 July. 

Springboks head coach Rassie Erasmus said in a statement that the team ‘had followed all the necessary precautions since the start of the three-week conditioning camp hosted in Bloemfontein’, which included mandatory Covid testing three times a week. 

South African coach Rassie Eramus said squad followed all the necessary Covid precautions

South African coach Rassie Eramus said squad followed all the necessary Covid precautions

The Springboks are due to play the first of two warm-up games against Georgia on 2 July

The Springboks are due to play the first of two warm-up games against Georgia on 2 July

South Africa is currently in the grip of a third Covid wave, driven primarily by spread of the Delta variant first discovered in India. Gauteng province, in where Johannesburg is located, is reportedly seeing an alarming rise in cases.

South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to address the country later on Sunday when he is expected to announce tighter lockdown regulations. 

The Lions will play eight games on the tour, starting on Saturday against South Africa’s Johannesburg-based Lions franchise. The three test matches against the Springboks will be played on consecutive Saturdays from July 24. 

Five of the eight tour games are scheduled to be played in Gauteng province, with the remaining three matches taking place in Cape Town.

However, according to The42, SA Rugby are now considering moving all matches to Cape Town to save the tour, and possibly even only playing the three Test matches between the Lions and the Springboks.  

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