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Ulster Rugby confirm 'a number of Covid-19 cases' in set-up as all training stood down

‘Multiple’ academy players have tested positive for the virus, and one senior player is self-isolating.

A general view of the Ulster dressing room at Kingspan Stadium (file pic).
A general view of the Ulster dressing room at Kingspan Stadium (file pic).
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

ULSTER RUGBY HAS confirmed that it is assisting a group of players and has stood down all training after “a number of Covid-19 cases were identified within the academy squad”.

The northern province say that as soon as the cases were identified within the set-up, all academy and senior training was called to a halt as potential close contacts were identified.

“All individuals potentially exposed to the virus have already commenced self-isolating,” Ulster wrote in a statement this evening. “The Public Health Agency [PHA] has been informed, and the contact tracing process has started, in line with public health protocols.”

Ulster also confirmed that one senior squad member has been identified as a potential contact and is already self-isolating. 

Routine PCR testing, which is part of the IRFU’s Return to Play protocols, took place within the senior squad today, and results are due to be released tomorrow in line with existing processes in place from previous testing rounds.

“Following confirmation of multiple academy players testing positive for Covid-19, we are closely following public health advice in line with the IRFU’s Return to Play protocols,” Ulster Rugby medical director, Michael Webb said.

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“As a result, we have taken a number of precautionary measures as we await the results of further testing. We are supporting the individuals involved and all will continue to be medically monitored.

Our top 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 PHA as we look to make a safe and measured return to rugby.”

“Given this is a confidential health matter for the individuals involved, Ulster Rugby will not be making any further comment at this stage,” the statement concludes.

Dan McFarland’s side are due to face Leinster this weekend after losing to Connacht last time out.

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