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Rugby

Majority of Munster squad allowed home, as one player isolates separately

Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers has revealed that Munster have been permitted to return...



Majority of Munster squad allo...
Rugby

Majority of Munster squad allowed home, as one player isolates separately

Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers has revealed that Munster have been permitted to return to Ireland, save for two of their party.

The southern province were caught up in the environment around the outbreak of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant in South Africa, which led to rounds six and seven of the United Rugby Championship being cancelled.

Munster were meant to play the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday before facing the Lions this week.

Chambers said that the majority of the Munster squad will fly home, but two individuals, one who tested positive for Covid-19 and one who is a close contact, will remain in South Africa.

The Munster players and staff will undergo another round of PCR testing at their Cape Town hotel today with the results from same expected tomorrow.

It's expected that once the results of those tests are known, the majority of the party will return to Ireland and quarantine in the Dublin area.

Munster head coach Johann van Graan has said that the player who tested positive for Covid-19 is isolating at a different hotel.

“This has been a whirlwind of a time and we are very grateful to the people in the background who are helping us during this challenging period, and for all the best wishes we are receiving.

“We have one player in a different hotel who is doing as well as possible after receiving a positive PCR result, while the remainder of the group are isolating individually at the team hotel.

“Work is ongoing with all relevant authorities in securing our return to Ireland at a time when safe and appropriate but for now our priority is to look after our players and staff.

“While this is a time of uncertainty for all involved, we are doing everything possible to support our people.”

With ten days of isolation ahead, Munster are up against the clock when it comes to fulfilling their Heineken Champions Cup opener against Wasps in Coventry on Sunday December 12th.

A home tie with Castres at Thomond Park is scheduled for six days later.

The province say that Academy Manager Ian Costello and his staff are overseeing the training sessions for the Academy group and returning internationals ahead of the Wasps game.

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