Harlequins were found to have breached the Minimum Operating Standards agreed with the RFU


Saracens awarded Premier 15s win after Harlequins Covid breach

Saracens have been awarded a ‘win’ for their postponed Allianz Premier 15s match against Harlequins after the RFU ruled that Quins had breached the Minimum Operating Standards regarding Covid-19.

The match was originally scheduled for 12 December but was postponed until 2 January due to a positive Covid case at Saracens.

The game then had to be postponed again after a Quins player tested positive, which resulted in 28 players having to self-isolate, and it was rescheduled for 20 February.

However, the volume of players isolating triggered an investigation by the Premier 15s Disputes Committee and it was found that Quins had breached the agreed standards that require training sessions to be recorded to assist with contact tracing.

The result of the investigation means that the RFU has ruled the result of the match as a Saracens win, with five points allocated to them.

An RFU statement read: “An investigation was conducted to understand the reasons for the need to isolate such a large number of individuals. It was established that the club accepted it had breached the agreed Minimum Operating Standards that require that outdoor training sessions must be recorded to assist with the required contact tracing protocols.

“The Minimum Operating Standards have been put in place to ensure that the health and wellbeing of all and by not filming their contact training sessions there was a requirement to isolate so many people.”

However, Harlequins are appealing the decision, saying: “Harlequins note the decision and proposed sanction of the RFU’s Disputes Committee.

“The club confirm that it is appealing the level of sanction and will make no further comment at this stage, pending the outcome of that appeal.”

These two teams have been the most successful in Premier 15s history and contested the final in both 2018 and 2019, Saracens winning on both occasions.

If the points decision stands, Saracens would move level on 40 points with Quins, who are unbeaten so far this season, at the top of the table.

Meanwhile, Saracens were dealt their first defeat of the season last weekend, with Exeter Chiefs winning 22-14 at Sandy Park.

Quins will next meet Saracens in the league on 27 March.

Since the Premier 15s season resumed last weekend following a two-week break, players and staff at the ten clubs are taking lateral flow Covid tests twice a week. Matches this season have also been played under adapted laws to limit face-to-face exposure.

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