One player and one member of management test positive, another eight players and four staff are isolating

Two Covid cases in British & Irish Lions camp

One British & Irish Lions 2021 player and one member of the management team have tested positive for Covid-19.

The member of management returned a positive result from a lateral flow test on Wednesday 7 July and the entire touring party then underwent PCR tests, which identified the positive case amongst the playing group.

The pair had 12 close contacts – eight players and four staff members – and they have all been placed in isolation at the team hotel.

There had been doubts as to whether tonight’s match against the Sharks at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg would take place, but that has been given the go-ahead.

However, the Lions have been forced to make several changes to their team line-up given the number of players isolating.

Liam Williams, Anthony Watson, Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies, Conor Murray, Stuart Hogg, Chris Harris and Tadhg Beirne have all been ruled out.

Lions managing director Ben Calveley told Sky Sports pre-match: “We certainly think it is (a good idea to play). We see it as a positive, we’re showing we can overcome all the challenges facing us.”

The news comes after Friday’s match between South Africa and Georgia was cancelled due to a number of positive Covid cases in both camps while the Lions’ fixture against the Bulls on Saturday had already been postponed because of positive cases in the South African franchise’s set-up.

Related: Bulls v Lions match postponed due to Covid

The Lions are understood to be working with SA Rugby to find alternative opponents to fill that Saturday slot.

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