Munster suspend training after senior player tests positive for Covid-19

Player concerned was not part of province’s travelling party for the win over Scarlets

Munster suspended training on Tuesday after a senior player tested positive for Covid-19. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Munster suspended training on Tuesday after a senior player tested positive for Covid-19. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Munster’s preparations for Saturday’s Guinness Pro14 game against Edinburgh in Thomond Park have been interrupted when they were forced to suspend training at their HPC centre on Tuesday after an unnamed senior player tested positive for Covid-19.

The player concerned was not part of Munster’s travelling party for last Saturday’s last-ditch win away to the Scarlets but along with six other players identified as potential close contacts, he is self-isolating.

“The latest PCR testing carried out on Monday at the HPC has returned a positive result for a player who is asymptomatic. To remove any doubt of a potential false positive the player will be retested tomorrow,” said a statement issued by the province.

“The individual, who was not part of the travelling group at the weekend, and six other players identified by Munster Rugby as potential close contacts, are currently self-isolating.

“This approach of identifying possible close contacts is in line with the caution we have taken to this issue, these players may not be deemed close contacts by the HSE.

“As a precautionary measure, the squad and academy will not train at the HPC today.”

All players and staff at each province are tested at the outset of a match week and this is the third instance of a Munster player testing positive, the previous two cases having been academy players.

The first was a week and a half out from the opening game post-lockdown against Leinster, and also necessitated cancelling training for a day, and the second was before the Munster A side played their Connacht counterparts.

The results of this positive test were known early in the morning and thus training was cancelled before any of the squad had arrived in the HPC. With Wednesday a down day, it is anticipated that Munster will return to training on Thursday.

Munster’s statement added: “The HSE have been notified for contract tracing purposes. Further PCR testing will take place tomorrow at the HPC with a return to scheduled training planned for Thursday ahead of Saturday’s Guinness Pro14 encounter against Edinburgh at Thomond Park.”

Munster Rugby Head of Medical, Dr Jamie Kearns, said: “As an immediacy we are taking every precaution by standing down training today. We are going to complete another round of PCR testing tomorrow so that we can return to training on Thursday.

“Our priority is to ensure the health and safety of our players and staff, and we will continue to work closely with both the IRFU and HSE in this regard.”

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