Scotland team isolates after A international with England was postponed

The entire Scotland squad and coaching staff are going into self-isolation following postponement of their ‘A’ international against England.

Scotland lost nine players from their squad on Friday following one positive coronavirus test, and the game in Leicester was called off on Sunday, hours before kick-off, after three further positive cases.

A statement from the Scottish Rugby Union read: “​The Scotland men’s squad and management team will take a break from training camp to self-isolate following consultation with Scottish Government medical advisers.

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“The playing group and management team will return to training next week pending a full round of negative PCR test results.”

Scotland are due to go on tour to face Romania on July 10 and Georgia seven days later in full internationals.

Interim head coach Mike Blair said: “Having worked closely with Dr James Robson, the Scottish Government medical advisers, and our medical team at Scottish Rugby over the last 24 hours, we’ve made the decision to take a break from training camp, during which period all players and management will self-isolate regardless of whether they’ve been deemed a close contact of positive cases.

Mike Blair
Mike Blair has had a testing time in interim charge (Donall Farmer/PA)

“It’s obviously been a difficult few days. However, the health and wellbeing of our squad and management is the number one priority and that remains paramount in our decision-making process.”

Blair, who stepped up to the role while Gregor Townsend is on British and Irish Lions duty, had initially named a 37-man squad for the Welford Road clash, which was then due to be whittled down to 29 players for the two Test matches.

However, he called up an additional five players for the game in England – Glasgow duo Stafford McDowall and D’Arcy Rae, Edinburgh’s George Taylor, Ben Vellacott of Wasps and Saracens forward Callum Hunter-Hill – following Friday’s news.

Scotland travelled south on Friday and Blair named his team on Saturday with 17 uncapped players in his 23-man squad. Eight of Townsend’s regular players are with him on Lions duty.