Latest news:

Discussion started by TRIXTA , 07 October, 2020 11:45
TRIXTA 07 October, 2020 11:45
Finally, the correct decision has been taken and I think that overwhelming opinion is that it should have been taken last weekend. The RFU will be carrying out an investigation into Sale's covid management but in my opinion, they should also be carrying out an internal investigation into their handling of the situation. I am not saying that anything was actually done that wasn't above board but the perception is (mine anyway) that player health and safety was not a paramount consideration and there was some sort of bias towards Sale. I don't know why this should be the case, but that's the way it appears. Some striking similarities to the episode involving a certain No. 10 adviser when the public were regarded as idiots who would believe anything.

Re: Investigation
Old Col 07 October, 2020 11:59
Sorry Trixta ,I have overlapped with you by expressing similar thoughts after the club statements .Let's just hope it is only incompetence . It seems to me however that internal investigations are no longer appropriate ,only completely independant.

Re: Investigation
Faithful_City 07 October, 2020 12:40
Article from The Telegraph, more or less says what many on here and around the boards have been saying.

The Telegraph

The outbreak of Covid-19 at Sale Sharks should have far wider-reaching consequences than the impact on the climax to the Premiership campaign.

First and foremost, one can only hope those affected by the cluster of infections make a full recovery and that their family and friends are safe and well.

Amid the drama surrounding the decision-making process behind the initial postponement of the fixture against Worcester and potential reasons for the outbreak, there has been little information about whether any of the Sale players or staff are suffering from symptoms, or if so, how severe these may be.

Chaos: Sale (in red), who beat Northampton last week, have been hit by Covid-19
As Alan Solomons, the Worcester director of rugby said on Monday, the decision as to whether their postponed game should go ahead tonight was one that transcended sport.

Solomons is right. It is too easy to view the events of the past five days from a purely sporting perspective. The pandemic is no respecter of league schedules or the battle for play-off places. And while it is understandable that Sale desperately want the fixture to go ahead if it is safe to do so, given that victory would secure their place in Saturday’s play-offs, it is important for a sense of perspective to prevail.

This Premiership campaign had its integrity diminished long ago, beginning with confirmation in January of Saracens’ relegation because of salary-cap breaches.

Then came the league suspension because of the lockdown, followed by the implications for player welfare and the resultant plethora of mis-matches caused by the decision to complete the league campaign in full following the restart in August.

PRL only needs to look to the NFL, where there is a much more transparent process.

The return of matches, even without crowds, has been a welcome distraction during these challenging times, and in fulfilling the broadcast commitment, at least helped clubs who are facing crippling losses each month. But even for the world’s most competitive club league, this campaign was never about the destination of the title, but a journey to keep the clubs alive and give a lift to supporters.

It is why the unedifying saga should serve as a wake-up call for the administrators. A full review should be carried out, of the testing system in place and associated safety protocols across the 12 Premiership clubs, to reduce the risk of another outbreak, and the response of Premiership Rugby to the crisis.

What has become clear over the past month is that Covid-19 is not going away, as infection rates continue to increase. With the new Premiership campaign due to begin next month, the game cannot afford a similar setback; nor similar damage to its reputation and credibility that the handling of this one has caused.

It is clear that much tougher restrictions need to be implemented in response to positive tests or, as Sale claimed, when they received confirmation of a false negative that they believe could be the cause of the outbreak.

The outbreak shows that once the virus takes root within a squad, it can quickly escalate and lead to consequences beyond one club, with a number of Northampton players now self-isolating following their defeat by Sale last Tuesday.

Given the uncertainty around at which exact point a player exposed to the virus registers a positive test and when he becomes infectious, it seems remarkable that there should even be a debate about a fixture going ahead with such high numbers of infections in one club.

When Racing 92 returned nine positive tests last week, their entire squad and backroom staff were placed into immediate home isolation and their training centre was closed for at least five days for a “complete decontamination of the site”.

Yesterday, Munster announced that one player had tested positive for Covid-19, forcing the club to suspend training. The player will be retested today “to remove any doubt of a potential false positive”.

Similarly, Premiership Rugby needs to adopt a tougher position and make the regulations and handling of any positive tests more transparent, as well as taking the lead with its communications.

It appeared that PRL wanted to complete the entire process without offering guidance or being open to scrutiny before announcing its decision on Saturday, even though news had broken of the high number of positives at Sale on Friday lunchtime. An official statement did not come until the following day, and only after Sale and Worcester had belatedly issued statements themselves.

That left supporters in the dark and led to confusion and conflicting reports and speculation on social media, when an upfront and running commentary would have shown that PRL was dealing with the outbreak, and in a fair and logical manner.

Instead, supporters were left to work out an 11th-hour decision to cancel Northampton’s game against Gloucester on Sunday because it was not safe, while at the same time comprehend the reasoning as to why Sale’s game was only postponed, even though Public Health England said it was not safe to be played on Sunday.

PRL only needs to look to the NFL, where there is a much more transparent process.

The pandemic has more than ever demonstrated just how critical supporters are to this game. At a time when professional rugby is seeking a government bail-out to cope with the financial impact of the pandemic, they deserve better.


Re: Investigation
Faithful_City 07 October, 2020 12:47
Rob Baxter Exeter Rugby


Exeter boss Rob Baxter says Premiership clubs are facing their worst time of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sale were forced to forfeit their final game of the season with Worcester after 27 positive tests in a week.

Infection rates have risen across the country, with Exeter now a hotspot having been a low-risk area through much of the outbreak.

"For a lot of rugby clubs around the country we're probably at our most dangerous period," he told BBC Sport.

Exeter now has around 283 cases per 100,000 people, putting it in the top 20 places in the country, after an outbreak centred around the city's university.

Baxter added: "The danger of a player picking up an infection and failing a test just through going into a shop is far greater now in Exeter than it was at any time through lockdown.

"I can easily see for a few weeks where rugby clubs could actually end up having two or three cases a week that we need to manage.

"If you're talking about what regulations you want in place it's got to be one that protects people and the players but also allows, with proper isolation of those infected players, a squad to potentially continue functioning."

Baxter calls for Covid rule changes

Baxter says the rules around positive tests should be amended, with a set number triggering a postponement.

"Probably the regulations were based around an ability to put a team on the field, rather than the wider health implications," he said.

"I imagine because of what's happened at Sale there'll be some addition to the regulations next season based on a particular number of positive tests will mean a forfeit of a fixture."

But Baxter was keen to stress that he felt that rules brought in by Premiership Rugby in order to restart the league in August after a five-month hiatus have worked well.

Sale's game against Worcester and Northampton's fixture with Gloucester on the final day of the season were the only games to be postponed, with Saints players having to self-isolate having been in contact with Sale in their match a few days earlier.

"As a set of regulations into a completely unknown quantity, they've pretty much done their job," he said.

"What's highlighted now is there probably needed to be another line or another paragraph of regulation saying that PRL call an independent medical board in the case of a multiple outbreak - say more than four, five, six, whatever number they want it to be, and a decision will get made over the cancellation or postponement or awarding of points.

"Now we might need to add in that paragraph and I suspect that's what'll happen before we start the new season."

Re: Investigation
Abmatt 07 October, 2020 13:11
As said before, cancel playoffs, award title to Exeter. IMHO playoffs are a waste of time anyway, just a cash generator. But that’s a separate argument for another day.

Re: Investigation
Faithful_City 07 October, 2020 13:51
Oh I don't know Abmatt, I am quite looking forward to Saturday and have had some really good fun days out at Twickenham watching the final as a neutral


Re: Investigation
Abmatt 07 October, 2020 14:50
Each to their own, and I’m not denying it could be a good day out. I just think if you finish top, you are. End of.

Re: Investigation
Faithful_City 07 October, 2020 16:02
I did when it first came in but as it’s been here for many years now and all clubs know and plan for it I no longer have a problem with it.

It adds an end of season grand finale. For 8 club’s supporters it’s something to enjoy.


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment. We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals. We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards. If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing