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34 of Munster's party depart South Africa, 14 remain in Cape Town quarantine

The travelling group are set to land in Dublin on Wednesday evening.

Munster at training in Pretoria last week.
Munster at training in Pretoria last week.
Image: Gordon Arons/INPHO

Updated Nov 30th 2021, 10:51 PM

MUNSTER HAVE CONFIRMED that 34 members of their touring party tonight departed Cape Town and are set to land in Dublin on Wednesday evening.

The development took place after that group of players and staff received negative results following the completion of their fourth round of PCR testing.

However, four further positive Covid-19 cases emerged from Tuesday’s round of PCR testing and a total of 14 players and staff will remain in South Africa to complete their respective isolation periods at the designated quarantine hotel in Cape Town.

The players and staff who have left South Africa will be required to complete “mandatory self-isolation” at their own locations once they arrive in Ireland.

It looks like possibly being a huge boost for the province ahead of their Champions Cup clash with Wasps on 12 December, with the prospect of some of the returning South African party being available for that game.

A group of Ireland internationals, along with Springboks centre Damien de Allende, and a crop of academy players had pushed on with preparations for the Wasps game under the coaching of academy manager Ian Costello back in Limerick this week, but they could be boosted by returning reinforcements.

Of course, it remains to be seen how much training the Munster players returning from South Africa can get through during their mandatory self-isolation.

As for the players and staff who have been forced to stay behind in South Africa, Munster say they will have daily medical support, as well as two liaison officers remaining on-site at the quarantine hotel in Cape Town. They will follow on to Ireland once South African authorities clear them to leave quarantine.

“In a hugely positive development the wider Munster touring party departed Cape Town tonight after a group of 34 players and staff received negative results on completing a fourth round of PCR testing in six days,” reads an official Munster statement.

“Team management worked tirelessly on securing scheduled flights at short notice and the group are expected to land in Dublin on Wednesday evening.

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“Another four positive cases were identified in Tuesday’s round of PCR testing and a total group of 14 will see out their respective isolation periods at the designated quarantine hotel in Cape Town.

“This is a difficult time for all players and staff involved and we are very mindful of their wellbeing and the understandable concern from family and friends at home. The group will be well looked after with team liaisons Warren Morris and Kubaan Lorens remaining on site with medical support provided daily.

“As outlined by the government earlier this week, on arrival from South Africa the returning players and staff will follow mandatory self-isolation at their own locations.

“Munster Rugby would like to say a huge thank you to the management and staff at Southern Sun The Cullinan Hotel for all their help and efforts over the last few days, especially at a time when last-minute support and requirements were needed for a large group. The contribution Warren and Kubaan made during this time cannot be overstated and we are indebted to the duo for their professionalism and support.

“Again, we wish to take this opportunity to thank the Irish government, the IRFU, South Africa Rugby, URC, and the health authorities for their assistance in particular with regards to facilitating the safe return of our staff and players.”

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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