Scotland's Romanian rugby test is called off by Covid results

Scotland’s July 10 Summer Tour fixture against Romania in Bucharest has been called off, following confirmation that several members of the Scotland men’s camp have tested positive for Covid-19.

By Ralph Mellon
Thursday, 1st July 2021, 5:13 pm
Covid-19 concerns have claimed another Scottish international fixture, this time in Romania
Covid-19 concerns have claimed another Scottish international fixture, this time in Romania

All players and staff are currently isolating, as per Scottish Government guidelines, and have been in enforced self-isolation since travelling back from Leicester on Sunday, after the cancellation of the proposed ‘A’ game with England.

To respect medical confidentiality, Scottish Rugby will not be naming the individuals affected.At this stage, Scottish Rugby has every intention of fulfilling the following week’s international fixture against Georgia in Tbilisi on Saturday, July 17.

However, the current situation remains fluid and that match is subject to review and further testing.As the non-positive players and staff leave isolation in the coming week, they will be subject to further medical assessment and testing prior to returning to a graduated training regime.

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Scottish Rugby says it will provide further updates in due course.Chief executive Mark Dodson said: “Player welfare is paramount in every decision that we make as an organisation and, unfortunately, we’ve run out of time to allow our players to recover and train properly for the Romania fixture.“We’re clearly disappointed and I feel massively for both our group of players and management, as well the Romanian Rugby Federation. However, our squad’s health and wellbeing must come first.“We still have every intention of travelling to face Georgia the following week, subject to further medical review and testing, and we’ll hopefully be in a position where a large section of the squad will be able to return to a graduated training regime next week.Scottish Rugby’s chief medical officer, Dr James Robson, added: “We unfortunately now have a situation where we have several Covid-19 positive cases within the playing group and management. As such, we’ve made the correct decision to call off the Romania fixture.“Simply put, you cannot hurry players or management out of isolation and, with the health and wellbeing of the squad very much in mind, we wouldn’t be in a position where we could safely travel to Romania and fulfil an international fixture.“We’ll now work intently on ensuring the squad and management are able to safely return to a graduated training regime.”Scotland interim head coach, Mike Blair, said: “As a camp – of both management and players – we’re obviously massively disappointed that we’ll be unable to travel and face Romania next weekend. However, it is 100 per cent the correct decision, taking into account the health and wellbeing of this group.“It’s clearly been a disappointing couple of days. However, since meeting as a squad over a fortnight ago, the determination and resilience shown by this group has been evident to see and we’ll move forward with that Georgia fixture very much in focus.“We’ll continue to work closely with Dr Robson and the medical team at Scottish Rugby, who will advise and direct us as we look to return to a graduated training schedule in the coming week.Scottish Rugby continues to operate an extensive health and safety coronavirus mitigation plan and follow all respective health guidance aligned through Scottish Rugby's Threat Management Group.

Borders players including Edinburgh Rugby’s Charlie Shiel, son of Galashiels-born ex-Scottish international Graham Shiel, and flanker Rory Darge, previously with Southern Knights and now with Glasgow Warriors, were in the originally-announced Scotland squad for the Summer Tests, which was to have been captained by Edinburgh Rugby back row Jamie Ritchie.