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South Africa’s entire squad has been forced into isolation after three players tested positive for coronavirus on the eve of the British and Irish Lions tour.
A planned training session was cancelled as their preparations were rocked by the news.
SA Rugby said that ‘a decision on further team activities will be made shortly’.
The Lions fly to Johannesburg from Edinburgh on Sunday night, with their opening tour match taking place in the city next Saturday – which will be live on the talkSPORT network.
In a statement, SA Rugby said: “The Springboks cancelled Sunday’s planned training session in Johannesburg as a precautionary measure when scheduled testing protocols returned three positive Covid-19 test results when the team assembled on Saturday.
“Three players tested positive for the virus following stringent real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing procedures on arrival at the team base.
“Team management immediately put the squad into self-isolation as a precaution until specialist medical advice is sought from the Castle Lager Lions Series Medical Advisory Group (MAG).
“A decision on further team activities will be made shortly.
“SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus emphasised that the team had followed all the necessary precautions since the start of the three-week conditioning camp hosted in Bloemfontein, which included mandatory Covid-19 testing three times a week, and that they would be led by specialist advice before any action is taken.”
The tour has endured a weekend to forget, with the Lions losing captain Alun Wyn Jones and flanker Justin Tipuric to injuries during Saturday’s 28-10 victory over Japan at Murrayfield.
Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray will replace Jones as captain, while Wales forwards Adam Beard and Josh Navidi were summoned to join the squad.
The three-Test series between the Lions and world champion Springboks kicks off in Cape Town on July 24.