Sports

Scarlets’ Rainbow Cup clash against Ulster called off due to Covid outbreak

The Scarlets’ weekend match against Ulster has been cancelled after four opposition players tested positive for Covid-19.

The PRO14 Rainbow Cup clash at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday has now been called off and will not be rescheduled.

Ulster have been forced to suspend all senior and academy training sessions, with further PCR testing of players and staff set to take place on Friday.

As there are no available weekends remaining in the Rainbow Cup schedule, the game will not be rescheduled and will go down as a 0-0 draw.

However, the Scarlets will still subsequently be awarded four points given they were not responsible for the decision.

Ulster currently sit bottom of their Rainbow Cup table after slumping to three defeats, and had expected to welcome around 500 fans for the game, all of whom will now receive refunds.

A PRO14 statement said: “The Public Health Agency has been informed and Ulster Rugby is continuing to follow its internal contact tracing process.

“Further PCR testing of players and staff is due to take place [on Friday] and all training at senior and academy level has been suspended until further notice.

“In making this decision both the league and Ulster followed the guidance established by the PRO14 Rugby Medical Advisory and had the full support of the Public Health Agency.

“With no available weekends remaining the game will not be rescheduled. As a result, PRO14 Rugby will use the protocol decided prior to the 2020-21 season whereby a game that could not be rescheduled would result in the fixture being deemed a 0-0 draw, but four match points would be awarded to the team who had not been the cause of the postponement.

“In this case, Scarlets will receive four match points. This protocol ensures that no artificial scoring points were added to the tries/points for and against columns.”

Ulster Rugby CEO Jonny Petrie said the decision to call off the match was the correct one.

He said: “Our priority continues to be the health and safety of our players and staff, as well as the wider community, so we will continue to work closely, together with the IRFU, with the Public Health Agency to ensure that we follow the necessary public health advice, as we provide support to the individuals involved.”

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