Boks suspend training after another positive Covid-19 test

British & Irish Lions tour in limbo amid third wave in the country

Lood de Jager is the player who has reportedly tested positive for Covid-19.
Lood de Jager is the player who has reportedly tested positive for Covid-19.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

SA cancelled training yesterday and went into isolation after another positive Covid-19 test, putting in jeopardy their test on Friday against Georgia and raising more questions about the British & Irish Lions tour amid a third wave of infections in the country.

Springbok lock Lood de Jager returned a positive test, following three positives in the SA side last week. "The players have been placed in preventative isolation prior to further PCR testing and a review of the testing data by the Medical Advisory Group,” said a statement from SA Rugby.

"Lood de Jager returned a positive outcome in scheduled testing and, because of his close contact with a number of squad members, the entire group has gone into isolation."

An update will be issued following the review by the advisory group and the further testing, it added.

SA had Covid cases last week and selected players also went into isolation but the first test against Georgia on Friday in Pretoria went ahead.

The teams are scheduled to meet again in Johannesburg on Friday in a second warm-up for the Boks before the start of their three-test series against the Lions later this month. 

Meanwhile, there will be no test dress rehearsal for the British & Irish Lions in the warm-up games before they face SA, with each player having an opportunity to compete for a place up to the first test, coach Warren Gatland said yesterday.

The Lions play five games before the three-test series but none of the matches is earmarked for a potential test selection to have a run-out before the opening clash against the Springboks in Cape Town on July 24.

"I want this group of men to feel everyone has an opportunity, particularly right up until the test matches and we won’t be showing our hand in terms of what a test side should be," the Lions coach told a news conference.

"The message four years ago to the players who played on the Tuesday night before the first test was that we hadn’t selected the first test team and that there were still positions and spots up for grabs. A couple of player played well that night and were selected in the first test team," he said of the win over Waikato before the first test of the last Lions tour to New Zealand in 2017. 

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