The tour of the British and Irish lions is disputed due to Covid-19 Yorkshire News

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland (Image: PA)

And in a further setback that calls into question the current viability of the tour, 10 additional positive Tests from the players and management at Springbok camp have put his Test against Georgia on Friday in serious doubt.

To complicate the hopes of the second South African prep game to take place at Emirates Airline Park, Georgia has also been hit, producing four confirmed cases of Covid. However, the game has not yet been canceled. Only Lions have managed to escape the virus, as the Gauteng region encompassing Johannesburg and Pretoria finds itself in the grip of a third rising wave of the pandemic.

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But the tourist schedule now faces an overhaul with two options under consideration: setting a new date for the Bulls game or finding an alternative opposition to fill the void created on Saturday.

It became impossible for the match to continue after the Pretoria-based franchise saw four players and a member of management test positive. Once close contacts were taken into account, it became apparent that they could not form a team.

The vital task facing the tour organizers is to ensure that the test series between the Lions and South Africa takes place, with the first meeting taking place in Cape Town on July 24. “These positive results are a setback and have underscored the danger of delta variant transmissibility,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

“The Springboks’ second test against Georgia is now in serious doubt, but we will wait for the Medical Advisory Group to consider the data and make the final decision tomorrow (Wednesday).

“The priority is maintaining the integrity of the Test series and we will continue to focus on that.”

South Africa placed its entire 46-man squad in isolation on Monday after the Lood De Jager lockdown tested positive, and a subsequent round of testing revealed the scale of the problem.

Second row Marvin Orie, center Frans Steyn, fly Handre Pollard and prop Frans Malherbe now face 10 days of quarantine.

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This notice was published: 2021-07-06 22:27:55

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