Covid D-Day for nervy Wasps with club to discover on Monday if their outbreak of cases has spread with place in Premiership final on the line
- Wasps’ place in the Premiership final at Twickenham this weekend is in doubt
- The club were hit with four players and three staff members testing positive
- After a swift response, Wasps are hopeful they will avoid further positive results
Wasps are due to find out on Monday morning if their Covid outbreak has spread, potentially threatening their participation in Saturday’s Premiership final at Twickenham.
The Coventry-based club had an extra, emergency round of testing on Saturday, after receiving shock news last Wednesday that four players and three members of staff had tested positive.
Wasps are hoping that their swift response – including the precautionary decision to cancel training for the rest of the week – will mean they avoid further positive results, but a significant increase in the outbreak could force them to forfeit their place in the final.
Wasps – and head coach Lee Blackett – will soon discover if their Covid-19 outbreak has spread
Premiership Rugby confirmed on Friday that, as per protocols agreed before the season resumption in August, Bristol – who lost 47-24 to Wasps in the play-off semi-finals – are on stand-by to face Exeter if Lee Blackett’s side are unable to participate due to the virus.
But the Bears’ director of rugby, Pat Lam, has no desire for his club to earn a shot at the title on a technicality.
‘We want Wasps and Exeter to play the game – they thoroughly deserve to be there,’ said Lam.
The club are potentially at risk of forfeiting their place in the Premiership final this weekend
Bristol are on stand-by to replace them although Pat Lam has no desire for his team to take part
‘That’s the final that should happen. But this is the world we live in with Covid. We have been told to be ready. If we are told we are in, we will get everyone together and just do it. But for us, we certainly hope Wasps make it through and we certainly hope Exeter make it through.’
In the aftermath of their Champions Cup triumph on Saturday evening, Exeter looked ahead to the prospect of trying to clinch a Double by winning the Premiership title at Twickenham, amid sudden confusion about who they will face.
But they are unfazed, after the same issue occurred in the build-up to their semi-final, when Sale were hoping to earn a play-off place despite a Covid outbreak which saw the Cheshire club hit by a total of 27 positive tests.
‘We’re not going to worry about that,’ said Exeter centre Henry Slade. ‘We had a similar experience before the semi, so that week gave us a really good opportunity to focus on ourselves and we’ve just got to prepare as if it’s Wasps. Whatever team we have to play, we’ll look forward to it.’
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