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"Multiple" Ulster Academy players test positive for COVID-19

Irish rugby has been rocked by the news that multiple Academy players at Ulster have tested posit...

Irish rugby has been rocked by the news that multiple Academy players at Ulster have tested positive for coronavirus. 

Prior to their announcement, there had been just once case of COVID-19 at the elite end of the game, with a Munster Academy player producing a positive test.

Ulster say as soon as the cases were identified, training for both the senior and academy squads was called to a halt as they sought to identify any close contacts.

One senior player has been identified as a close contact, and is already self-isolating.

It's a blow for the sport, which had only seen the Guinness PRO14 resume last weekend with a pair of provincial derbies.

Ulster resumed their season with a 26-20 defeat to Connacht, and are set to play Leinster at the Aviva Stadium this coming Saturday.

Ulster medical director Michael Webb say they are awaiting the results of further testing.

The Public Health Agency (PHA) has been informed, and the contact tracing process has started, in line with public health protocols.

Routine PCR testing, part of the IRFU’s Return to Play protocols, took place with the Senior squad today, with results due to be released tomorrow in line with existing processes in place from previous testing rounds.

So far, PCR testing hasn't produced a single positive result at Ulster.

Webb added, "We are closely following public health advice in line with the IRFU’s Return to Play protocols.

"As a result, we have taken a number of precautionary measures as we await the results of further testing. We are supporting the individuals involved and all will continue to be medically monitored.

“Our top priority is to ensure the health and safety of our players and staff, and we will continue to work closely with both the IRFU and PHA as we look to make a safe and measured return to rugby."

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Coronavirus Covid-19 Guinness Pro14 Leinster Pro 14 Rugby Ulster