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Gloucester’s final home match of the season against Bath on Saturday has been cancelled because of a Covid‑19 outbreak which threatens major disruptions to the climax of the season.
Premiership Rugby announced on Tuesday that the match had been called off because of a number of cases detected at Gloucester after symptoms had been reported on Sunday. As a result Bath are set to be awarded a 28-0 win which would significantly boost their hopes of a top-eight finish and qualification for next season’s Champions Cup, all the while denting Gloucester’s hopes.
Bath are in ninth place, level on points with Wasps, who face London Irish on Saturday. Irish were beaten by Gloucester – who are 10th and two points adrift of a Champions Cup spot – last Friday but it is believed they are unaffected by the outbreak.
Gloucester welcomed more than 3,000 fans to Kingsholm against Irish but the cancellation denies them the opportunity to do so again before the end of the season. It is the first Premiership fixture to be called off because of a Covid outbreak since mid-February and the eighth this season.
Gloucester have not said how many of their players have tested positive or have been forced to self‑isolate, nor named them.
The British & Irish Lions will be monitoring developments closely, however, with Louis Rees-Zammit and Chris Harris due to take part in the pre-tour preparation camp in Jersey this month.
A Premiership Rugby spokesperson said: “Our priority is the health and safety of everyone involved with Gloucester Rugby and Bath Rugby and we will give the clubs any support they need. We wish everyone affected a full and speedy recovery. Neither Premiership Rugby nor the club will be naming any of the players or staff involved and we’d ask everyone to respect their privacy.”
Scotland have named 17 uncapped players including the Sale hooker Ewan Ashman in their 37-man squad to face England A, Romania and Georgia this summer. Ashman was called up to the Six Nations squad this year but is still awaiting his debut and had attracted interest from England.
The 21-year-old has plumped for Scotland, however, and is expected to be handed his first cap by Mike Blair, who has taken the reins with Gregor Townsend away with the Lions.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Covid outbreak forces Gloucester to cancel final home match of season | Premiership