Coronavirus scare for Crusaders players

Crusaders players may have been in contact with a Sydney University player who tested positive to Covid-19.

The Sydney University forward tested positive to coronavirus after leaving New Zealand, where the side faced the Crusaders Development XV in Lincoln.

However, Crusaders boss Colin Mansbridge says the risk that any player from the Super Rugby side may have been exposed to the virus is low as the Sydney player in question tested positive “many days” after returning to Australia.

“Our advice is because he was asymptomatic for many days before he developed symptoms, he’s more than likely been infected in Australia,” Masbridge told Stuff.

“Our players haven’t been contacted by New South Wales [Health] and local authorities. We’ve tried to reverse the contact cycle and say, ‘do we need to do anything?’,” Mansbridge said.

“The advice we’ve got is our players are not part of their contact strategy. They haven’t contacted us. Because I don’t think he meets the requirements while he was in NZ.

“That’s our understanding at this point of time, and we’re double verifying, because he has been gone for some period of time, was not displaying any symptoms while he was in NZ, and because the players most likely to come in contact are now in self isolation, that’s where we’re at at the moment.”

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the player fell ill last Sunday but only learned of his positive test on Wednesday.

The Crusaders management contacted the Sydney University team after hearing about the case, reports Stuff.

Members of the Crusaders squad who played in the match were Isi Tuungafasi, Ethan Roots, Fergus Burke and Harry Allan.

Tuungafasi and Buke are reportedly most likely to have come into contact with the player, but both don’t meet New South Wales Health’s threshold for close-contact.

All four Crusaders players are already in self-isolation since returning from Australia last weekend, following Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s suggestion that anyone who has recently returned from overseas travel, even those who returned before the weekend’s deadline, should enter self-isolation in response to the virus.

As a result of the Government’s latest guidelines, both the Crusaders and Chiefs players and their staff who travelled to Australia last week have decided to take the cautious approach and self-isolate for 14 days.

“If the situation changes, in accordance with the advice of public health authorities, we’ll adjust accordingly,” the Crusaders said in a statement.