Fresh blow | 

Nine new positive Covid cases within Munster squad as South African nightmare continues

The group, which includes staff and players, will move to a separate quarantine hotel in Cape Town

The Munster squad in Johannesburg Airport. Photo: Munster Rugby

Cian Tracey

Munster's South African nightmare has been exacerbated by the confirmation of a further nine positive Covid results within their wider squad.

The group, which includes staff and players, will move to a separate quarantine hotel in Cape Town, where the first player who tested positive on Sunday is based.

All of those who have contracted the virus are thankfully said to be doing well, but they will remain in South Africa until the end of their isolation period. There has been no indication whether or not the Omicron variant has been found within the squad.

The remaining party of 38 have returned negative results and are continuing to isolate in their rooms.

As per Sports Minister Jack Chambers' comments on Monday, those who have received negative results have been cleared to travel back to Ireland, however, Munster have confirmed that their squad has completed another round of PCR testing in order to take every necessary precaution.

Munster are now awaiting the results of the latest round of testing before they proceed with the next steps.

The latest developments throw further doubt on Munster's ability to field a strong team for next week's Heineken Champions Cup opener against Wasps.

Munster's Academy manager Ian Costello is currently overseeing training in Limerick with the province's internationals as well as Academy players.

There is almost certainly no prospect of Munster's opening European clash being postponed due to their ongoing difficulties in South Africa.

A statement from Munster read:

“Munster’s latest round of PCR testing has identified nine positive cases. The group, including staff and players, will move to the designated quarantine hotel in Cape Town joining the first player who tested positive on Sunday.

“The remaining party of 38 have all returned negative results and continue to individually isolate in their rooms where they have been based since Sunday night.

“As outlined by the Irish government on Monday, those that have received negative results have clearance to travel from the South African authorities.

“In taking every precaution the touring party have completed another round of PCR testing this morning, the third in less that 60 hours, and will wait on results ahead of next steps.

“The ten members of the group who have tested positive will remain in Cape Town until the end of their isolation period. While the individuals were disappointed on receiving the news they are thankfully well and will continue to be monitored medically at this time.

“We understand this is a challenging situation and would like to thank families, friends, colleagues and our rugby community for the many messages of best wishes.”


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