England centre Piers Francis last night tested positive for Covid – a week after playing against Sale.
The bombshell, which comes a day after clubmate Lewis Ludlam missed out on an England call as he is self-isolating and symptomatic having played in the same game, casts fresh doubt over Sharks’ controversial match with Worcester going ahead tonight.
Northampton centre Francis played 20 minutes off the bench against Sale and will now miss England’s three-day training camp.
Worcester were already asking how Sale had been able to name the side they have for today’s clash.
They wanted answers as to how 13 of Sale’s starting line-up played against Saints – two days before 16 Sharks players and three staff tested positive – yet are again on the team sheet.
In contrast, a number of Northampton players went into self-isolation following that game and the club had no option but to forfeit their final game.
Worcester harbour serious misgivings about this fixture and want to know whether the ‘Sale 13’ did the same.
Sharks, who need victory to beat Bath to the final play-off place, insist theirs is a “Covid-compliant” squad.
They have informed Worcester of the names of those players who tested positive and who they have been in contact with.
They have submitted all relevant track and trace details, together with GPS data, training footage and temperature checks to the RFU.
And last night they reiterated that they will forfeit the fixture if they feel it is “not safe” to play or they get another positive test.
Those results are due back this morning, after which a final decision will be made.
Source: Read Full Article