French club Toulon have pulled out of Friday’s Champions Cup game against Welsh side Scarlets due to safety concerns over a Scarlets player testing positive for COVID-19, European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) said.
Scarlets told the EPCR that after one of their players had tested positive for the virus following last weekend’s game against Bath, the infected player self-isolated and two of his close contacts were not named in Friday’s squad against Toulon.
The action satisfied league organisers but not Toulon, who were scheduled to face Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli at 1730 GMT
“A Medical Risk Assessment Committee was convened earlier today to consider any potential issues in relation to Scarlets’ testing and tracing, and it was satisfied that the risk of further transmission had been contained before recommending that the match could go ahead safely,” EPCR said in a statement.
“On learning of RC Toulon’s concerns regarding the fixture, it was suggested that the match could be postponed to a later date in the weekend to allow any of the club’s players to opt out of the match if they wished to do so.
“It was also suggested that RC Toulon could source willing players from their existing tournament squad to replace those who had withdrawn and that the Scarlets matchday squad could undergo additional PCR testing.
“These offers were rejected by RC Toulon, and EPCR can therefore confirm that the match is postponed.”
Earlier on Friday, Bath’s Champions Cup game against La Rochelle this weekend was cancelled after 12 of their players had to isolate following the positive COVID-19 test at Scarlets, who they played on Saturday.
Defending champions Exeter Chiefs’ game against Toulouse on Sunday and Glasgow Warriors’ fixture against Lyon on Saturday were also called off this week after a COVID-19 outbreak at Exeter.