Bath’s Champions Cup clash against La Rochelle has been cancelled due to 12 of their playing squad having to isolate after a positive case of coronavirus was detected at the Scarlets.
The Premiership club have recorded no cases themselves, but 12 players have been deemed to be in close contact with the individual who turned out for Scarlets in the 23-19 Champions Cup opener last weekend.
And a statement from the Premiership club on Thursday said: “It is with deep disappointment that we announce the cancellation of this weekend’s Champions Cup fixture against La Rochelle.
“A member of Scarlets Rugby tested positive for Covid-19 this week and as a result, a total of 12 Bath Rugby players from last weekend’s matchday-23 have been named as close contacts and are now in isolation.
“Due to the impact on selection availability of forwards, it is not possible to safely fulfil the fixture on Saturday.
“When informed, Bath Rugby acted immediately to isolate the players concerned and has been in constant communication with Premiership Rugby, the RFU (Rugby Football Union), Public Health England and EPCR (European Professional Club Rugby).”
Despite the positive test at the Scarlets, their Round 2 match against Toulon on Friday goes ahead.
As for Bath, the outcome of their cancelled fixture will be decided competition organisers, EPCR.
Stuart Hooper, Bath’s director of rugby, said: “We are hugely disappointed that we are unable to play this fixture, but the health and safety of our staff, players and families – and that of La Rochelle’s rugby community must be our top priority.
“Our focus now is to continue to protect our people and to prepare for our upcoming Gallagher Premiership fixture against London Irish on Boxing Day.”
The news comes after a coronavirus outbreak at Exeter led to the cancellation of their game against Toulouse and Glasgow Warriors’ fixture against Lyon.
Bath also said they had received one positive Covid-19 test this week from ‘an injured player who is not currently in training’ and that ‘one further player was identified as a close contact’.