By Phil Blanche, PA
Cardiff have confirmed that the repatriation of remaining squad and staff members in South Africa is under way.
A travelling party of 42 left Cape Town last Friday after returning negative PCR results on five consecutive days since South Africa was placed on the UK red list following the emergence of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.
But six members of the playing and backroom staff who returned positive tests had remained in Cape Town.
Update on the repatriation of the six individuals who quarantined in South Africa and the unique plight that now faces them 👇 https://t.co/0eYOtjUEBl
— Cardiff Rugby (@Cardiff_Rugby) December 9, 2021
“One player has already arrived in the United Kingdom, three are currently in transit and the remaining two individuals will depart Cape Town tomorrow (Friday),” Cardiff said in a statement on the club’s official website.
“While the club are pleased to repatriate the individuals, they must now enter a second 10-day period of isolation at a Government approved hotel, having already quarantined for 10 days at a South African Covid-19 facility.
“Cardiff Rugby continue to work with its partners in discussing this matter with the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
“This is a situation which impacts hundreds of people returning from red list countries, who have already served a 10-day quarantine following a positive Covid-19 test.
“We are seeking clarification from DCMS as to why a second quarantine is required for the individuals in this unique situation.
“The main priority of Cardiff Rugby remains to support the health and wellbeing of our people and we will continue to work alongside the relevant parties to deliver the best outcome.”
Cardiff’s Heineken Champions Cup game against reigning champions Toulouse on Saturday will go ahead as scheduled.
Wales internationals such as Josh Adams, Tomos Williams, Ellis Jenkins, Dillon Lewis and Seb Davies are available as they did not travel to South Africa for their postponed United Rugby Championship match.
Scarlets are disappointed to announce that we have forfeited Saturday's @ChampionsCup round one match against @BristolBears due to player welfare concerns and the club’s inability to safely field a match-day squad
Full story ▶️ https://t.co/E1SLH2Jo3i
— Scarlets Rugby (@scarlets_rugby) December 7, 2021
The Cardiff line-up will also include a number of academy players and semi-professionals, with academy manager Gruff Rees heading up the coaching team.
Fellow Welsh side the Scarlets currently have 32 players in quarantine at a Belfast hotel.
The Scarlets have forfeited their weekend Heineken Champions Cup game against Bristol.
Tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) have confirmed a 28-0 scoreline in Bristol’s favour and an award of five match points to the Gallagher Premiership club.