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Munster squad member in South Africa tests positive for Covid-19

The province will return to their Cape Town hotel for an isolation period after a round of PCR testing last night returned a positive test.

Image: Gordon Arons/INPHO

MUNSTER RUGBY WILL not return to Ireland on Sunday from South Africa and will stay in their Cape Town hotel for an isolation period after a round of PCR testing last night returned a positive test.

The Irish province departed their training base in Pretoria yesterday and traveled to Cape Town, the city in which their United Rugby Championship counterparts Cardiff and Zebre are also currently awaiting a route out of South Africa.

In a statement, Munster said: “This morning Munster Rugby were making plans to join their fellow URC sides in departing Cape Town for Dublin by charter.

“After arriving at their hotel in Cape Town late last night the squad underwent a round of PCR testing ahead of today’s possible departure.

“The returning results have identified one positive case.

“In taking all precautions and prioritising the health and wellbeing of everyone Munster Rugby will not travel today and will return to their hotel for an isolation period as a matter of priority.

“The province will await further guidance from the health authorities.”

Munster, who arrived in South Africa last weekend, were due to play the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday and the Emirates Lions on December 4 in Johannesburg. 

Earlier this week, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly confirmed that anyone returning to Ireland from seven southern African countries will have to quarantine at home, and must take two PCR tests during that period, “regardless of status.”

Meanwhile, Cardiff Rugby have also been unable to depart South Africa following two positive cases of Covid-19, one of which is suspected to be the new variant Omicron.

The Welsh side confirmed the positive cases in a statement:

“The travelling party had hoped to depart Cape Town this afternoon after a charter plane was secured, however PCR tests undertaken last night have returned two positive results.

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“As a consequence of one of these results suspected of being Omicron, the entire travelling party have returned to their hotel to isolate.

“Cardiff Rugby continue to work with the South African Rugby Union, the Welsh Rugby Union and public health authorities both at home and abroad to decide the next course of action.

“The club are also continuing to work with all relevant authorities to secure the travelling party’s return to Wales when safe and appropriate.

“Everybody concerned in this highly challenging situation would like to thank their families, friends, colleagues and the wider rugby family for their many messages of concern and well wishes.”

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