Sale Sharks vs Worcester postponed due to positive coronavirus test results with clubs banned from signing players

Sale issued a statement on Friday night to say they will continue to prepare for the encounter as they are confident that all health protocols can be maintained despite the positive tests, although Worcester soon responded to urge caution over the matter given the risk posed to their own squad and staff.

Premiership Rugby chose not to respond on Friday night as confusion reigned over the final weekend of the domestic season, but a statement issued just an hour before the teams were due to be announced for the weekend confirmed that the entire six-match programme was under review.

Sale maintain they were in a position to play the match on Sunday as scheduled, but the decision was taken out of their hands as the Premiership announced the fixture postponement just 24 hours before the original kick-off time.

“In light of the unprecedented situation facing Premiership Rugby we have been forced to postpone the match,” said Premiership chief executive Darren Childs.

“Our priority is the health and well-being of everyone involved, and we won’t compromise this. But as this match has such a critical bearing on deciding the Gallagher Premiership Rugby champions, we wanted to do everything we could to play it.

“The team at Premiership Rugby has been working around the clock to come up with a solution and we’d like to thank Public Health England for their co-operation.

“There are still a number of health and safety hurdles to overcome before the match can be staged on Wednesday evening.”

Sale said: “In relation to recent media speculation surrounding a Covid-19 outbreak at Sale Sharks, the club can now confirm that there have been a number of positive tests this week.

“The wellbeing of all Premiership Rugby’s players, staff and officials remains Sale Sharks’ number one priority. Although a significant number of positive tests have been recorded, Sale Sharks have stringently followed PRL and RFU protocols throughout the pandemic in order to contain the spread of the virus. The club is therefore in a position to fulfil its Gallagher Premiership Round 22 fixture with Worcester Warriors, scheduled for this Sunday at 3pm.

“However, after Worcester Warriors expressed concerns regarding the Safety of the fixture taking place on Sunday, we sought advice from Public Health England and Sale Sharks, Worcester Warriors and Premiership Rugby have decided to postpone the match until Wednesday 7th October 2020 to allow further Covid-19 testing to take place prior to the fixture.

“Sale Sharks would like to reassure its supporters that all of the club’s players and staff are currently well.”

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