Lions tour facing fresh Covid threat with cases spreading among South Africa team

Lions head coach Warren Gatland is making ready for but extra upheaval subsequent week with the Covid-19 outbreak understood to be spreading throughout the Springbok camp. 

The Lions already needed to change Saturday afternoon’s warm-up fixture towards the Bulls, who returned a raft of constructive matches, to a second match towards the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld. 

That disruption is about to proceed into subsequent week when the tour strikes from Johannesburg to Cape Town. Gatland’s team are because of play South Africa A on Wednesday earlier than their remaining warm-up match towards the Stormers subsequent Saturday main into the Test sequence. 

However, the Springboks are nonetheless struggling to comprise an outbreak after 11 constructive cases had been reported on Tuesday. That might pressure the South African Rugby Union to swap the Stormers and South Africa A fixtures within the schedule. 

“We’re not 100%, it will be either the Springboks or the Stormers. They might switch those games around,” Gatland stated. “That hasn’t been confirmed but hopefully in the next 24 hours we’ll know which way those games go.” 

The Lions additionally skilled the chaos {that a} constructive check could cause when a workers member complained of feeling in poor health on the Wednesday morning of their first match towards the Cell C Sharks. The complete squad had been positioned into lockdown and had been solely given the inexperienced mild to play the sport by the Medical Advisory Group simply two hours earlier than kick-off.

In spite of the disruption, the Lions went on to win 54-7 which led Gatland to reward their “outstanding” resilience. Four workers members, together with assault coach Gregor Townsend, in addition to a participant stay in isolation and are set to the miss the fixture on Wednesday, whoever the Lions are enjoying. 

The South African Rugby Union is because of publish an additional replace later, however Gatland is anticipating that they are going to be pressured to push again the South Africa A recreation till subsequent Saturday. 

“I think there are a number of players that have tested positive and they’re in sort of isolation and locked down,” Gatland stated. “And I don’t know how much training that they’ve been doing as a group. So they may need to have an internal hit out against each other with not being able to play the Georgia game and and potentially their game could be switched from Wednesday to Saturday.”

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