NINE players have been ruled out of Scotland A’s game against England on Sunday – one after testing positive for Covid, the rest because they were close contacts.
The match in Leicester is still expected to go ahead as planned, however, and five additional players have now been drafted into the squad – Saracens lock Callum Hunter-Hill, Glasgow centre Stafford McDowall, Glasgow prop D’Arcy Rae, Edinburgh centre George Taylor and Wasps scrum-half Ben Vellacott, who will be an Edinburgh player next season.
The squad had been due to travel to Leicester on Thursday, but that was postponed to allow the players and management team to undergo Covid tests. The team for the match at Welford Road – Mike Blair’s first as Scotland’s interim head coach – will now be announced this morning.
The news of the positive test was announced in a statement from Murrayfield yesterday. “Scottish Rugby can confirm a Scotland Men’s player has tested positive for COVID-19 while preparing to face ‘England A’ this weekend,” it said. “The player started self-isolation as per Scottish Government guidelines.
“Subsequent internal contact tracing identified a group of eight potential contacts who are also isolating and as such nine players have been ruled out of Sunday’s ‘A’ international fixture against England ‘A’ at Mattioli Woods Welford Road. To respect medical confidentiality, Scottish Rugby will not name the individuals affected.”
The ‘A’ international, which will be shown live on Channel 4 and kicks off at 2pm, is a warm-up for the two full Test matches that will take place next month, against Romania on Saturday 10 then against Georgia seven days later. England also have two cap internationals in July, against the USA and Canada on Friday 4 and Saturday 10 respectively.