Leinster's round-of-16 Heineken Champions Cup clash against Toulon has been cancelled following a positive case of Covid-19 in the squad of the French club.
The initial testing in the Top 14 camp returned all negative result but a second test in the week on Wednesday saw an unnamed forward player test positive for coronavirus following which he was placed under isolation.
“The Committee, which received independent medical advice from Dr Brendan Payne (England) and Dr Daniel Koch (Switzerland), was informed that an RC Toulon player, who did not travel to Ireland, had tested positive for COVID-19 as part of the club’s routine testing.
“Although the RC Toulon players and staff who had travelled undertook an additional round of PCR testing in Dublin yesterday (Thursday 1 April) which revealed no positive results, the Committee concluded that there were a number of high-risk contacts with the player who had tested positive and deemed the match unsafe to play with the participation of those identified contacts.
“Having been notified of that position, RC Toulon informed EPCR that they could not select a match day squad to safely fulfil the fixture.
“Having explored all possible alternative arrangements to facilitate the staging of the fixture, it was decided that the match could not be played safely given both the current public health guidelines in Ireland and EPCR’s COVID-19 protocol.
“A Match Result Resolution Committee will be convened as soon as practicable to determine the outcome of the fixture.”
Toulon players underwent another testing upon arriving in Dublin with all the players testing negative but on Friday EPCR asserted that all the front row players to be close contact of the positively tested player and gave an option to the French club to bring in new forwards for the match which could have been postponed to Sunday.
Toulon president Bernard Lemaitre expressed his frustration on the decision of EPCR.
“It’s disgusting, the player tested positive on Wednesday and immediately isolated,” Lemaitre told Midi Olympique.
“The EPCR was immediately informed, but let us go to Dublin. For more than 24 hours. And despite a total negative re-test of the players last night at 8pm, these people made this decision less than five hours before the match.”