Six Premiership players test positive for COVID-19

Premiership Rugby have confirmed ten members of club personnel have tested positive for COVID-19, including six players.

The news comes one month after Premiership clubs were cleared to return to non-contact training in Stage 1 of the return to rugby.

Throughout, players, coaches, and non-playing staff were subject to symptom checks and the first round of testing.

Premiership Rugby confirmed tests carried out this week have returned ten positive cases; six players and four non-playing staff.

A statement released by the league organiser read: “Premiership Rugby can today confirm that on Monday 6 July, 804 players and club staff were tested as part of the PCR COVID-19 screening programme. Of these, ten people have tested positive. Of those ten, six were players and four non-playing staff.”

“Players or club staff who have tested positive and their close contacts will now isolate and be assessed in line with the PHE-agreed guidelines.

“Premiership Rugby and the RFU are providing this aggregated information for competition integrity and transparency. No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided. The number of positive results will be made public after each round of testing.”

The announcement by Premiership Rugby comes in the same week when clubs were able to hold contact training sessions in small groups as of Monday (6 July).

Following the PGB’s upgrading from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of training guidance in what was an encouraging step towards the resumption of the 2019-20 season.

PGB (Professional Game Board) chair, Chris Booy said last Friday (July 3): “I can confirm that the Professional Game Board which incorporates representatives of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) Premiership Rugby, Rugby Players Association (RPA) and Championship Clubs has given provisional authorisation for Premiership Rugby clubs to move to Stage 2: Elite Sport Return to Training Guidance, from Monday 6th July.

“I’m delighted to confirm that Rugby Restart is on track. The teams at Premiership Rugby, RFU and RPA and at our clubs have undertaken a huge amount of work to get us to Stage 2 and I commend them for their dedication and tireless commitment to resuming the League campaign when it is safe to do so.”

Premiership Rugby is targeting a date of August 14-16 for the resumption of the 2019-20 season, but made no comment on whether the positives tests will affect the organisation’s plans.

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