Scotland’s A game against England at Leicester set for Sunday has been cancelled after three members of the travelling party tested positive for Covid-19.
A round of PCR tests conducted on Saturday when the team arrived in England uncovered three more positives. Daily testing had been conducted since a single player tested positive last week, causing a further nine to be withdrawn from the game as close contacts.
Scottish Rugby’s medical team have begun contact tracing within the remaining squad to establish any other players or staff who may be close contacts and have to self-isolate. The three who tested positive started the process as per Scottish Government guidelines immediately.
The match will not be re-arranged, and ticket holders will been refunded.
The new outbreak puts the two test matches in Romania (July 11) and Georgia (July 18) in doubt. The free week this week would be sufficient time for those affected, if asymptomatic, to isolate.
Scottish rugby’s extensive health and safety mitigation plan against Covid-19 had by and large been successful this season. There had been no cases in international camp and just a handful at the pro clubs, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The cancellation of the A game is a blow to the Scottish management team as it was a “capture” international. Several selected but previously uncapped players would have been committed to Scotland had they played.
These include dual-qualified hooker Ewan Ashman, former Strathallan School lock Cameron Henderson, and a Bath back rower Josh Bayliss.