Rugby: Munster team hit by nine more Covid-19 cases in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - The Munster rugby team, stranded in South Africa, have discovered nine more coronavirus cases in their ranks, the Irish province said on Tuesday (Nov 30).

They will join one other team member in a quarantine hotel in Cape Town until the end of their isolation period.

The Irish government has already said those players or coaches that have received negative results are cleared to travel by the South African authorities.

However, the unnamed person who tested positive and one close contact must remain in a Cape Town hotel until the end of their isolation period.

Munster said in a statement: "While the individuals were disappointed on receiving the news they are thankfully well and will continue to be monitored medically at this time."

All members of the travelling party will be required to quarantine for 10 days on arrival in Ireland, putting in doubt their scheduled European Champions Cup opener away to Wasps on Dec 12.

A spokesman for European Professional Club Rugby, which organises that competition, said: "We are monitoring the situation and are in contact with the clubs."

Munster travelled to South Africa to play United Rugby Championship (URC) matches against the Bulls in Pretoria last Saturday and the Lions in Johannesburg this weekend.

Both matches were cancelled after the discovery of the new Omicron variant as were the fixtures that Cardiff, Scarlets and Zebre Parma were due to play in South Africa.

Cardiff, whose delegation includes one positive case, are still in Cape Town.

The URC was launched this year as a successor to the Pro14 competition and includes four teams each from Ireland, Wales and South Africa and two each from Italy and Scotland.

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