The British & Irish Lions’ Castle Lager Lions Series match against the Bulls on Saturday has been postponed with a view to rescheduling or to accommodate an alternative opponent, while the Springboks’ second Test against Georgia on Friday is also being reviewed.
Four positive results among the Georgian team and four additional positive tests among Springbok players (Marvin Orie, Frans Steyn, Handre Pollard and Frans Malherbe) plus six among management, including head coach Jacques Nienaber, and one masseuse, have further complicated planning.
Impossible for Bulls to field a team
Four Bulls players and one member of management returned positive Covid-19 tests which, in combination with their close contacts, made it impossible for them to field a team, according to Series safety protocols.
Series regulations make provision for additional midweek matches to be added on agreement between the organisations.
Positive results setback for Springboks vs Georgia
The latest medical data from the Springbok and Georgian teams will be assessed by the Medical Advisory Group (MAG) on Wednesday morning.
“These positive results are a setback and have underlined the danger of transmissibility of the delta variant,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
“The Springboks’ second Test against Georgia is now in serious doubt, but we will wait for the MAG to consider the data and we will make the final decision tomorrow.
“The priority is to maintain the integrity of the Test series and we will continue to focus on that.”
A further update will be issued on potential alternative opponents for the Lions and on the Springboks’ second Test against Georgia as soon as the positions are finalised.
The British & Irish Lions’ match against the Sharks at Emirates Airline Park on Wednesday, KO 19h00 (18h00 BST) will take place as scheduled.