Premiership: Wasps cleared to face Exeter Chiefs in final despite Covid-19 cases

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Wasps advance to Premiership final for first time since 2017

The Wasps will appear in the Premiership final on Saturday against the Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham, despite 11 cases of Covid-19 at the club last week.

Premiership Rugby have confirmed that Lee Blackett’s side are free to play after the final round of testing.

Bristol was waiting if the wasps, who beat them in the semi-finals, had been unable to complete the edit.

The decision was taken by officials from Rugby Football Union, Premiership Rugby and Public Health England.

This will be the Wasps’ first final since 2017, when they were beaten by the Chiefs in overtime.

Seven players and four backstage staff were diagnosed with coronavirus before further testing was undertaken on Tuesday.

But in a statement, Wasps confirmed that “no other player or staff member has tested positive,” although a test of the coaching staff was damaged in transit and this member was self-supporting. will now isolate as a precaution.

They also reiterated the need to maintain their “rigorous” protocols around tracking and tracing when players return to training for the game.

“I would like to sincerely thank Premiership Rugby, RFU, Public Health England and Public Health Warwickshire for their clarity and assistance throughout this process,” said Stephen Vaughan, Managing Director of the Wasps Group.

“As a club we are delighted that we can now take our rightful place in the Premiership Rugby final on Saturday. To all our fans and supporters, thank you for your many messages of support, this finale is for you. “

Chiefs manager Rob Baxter, whose team got the green light following their latest round of testing, said allowing Wasps to play was “the news I think most people wanted” .

“Everyone was worried about the Wasps situation, but we were becoming concerned about ourselves, we were making sure we got over it,” Baxter, whose team was crowned European champions afterwards. beating Racing 92 in the Champions Cup final on Saturday, told BBC Sport.

“We expected it to and it was, and it was great to have a message from Lee (Blackett) this morning to say their tests went well. “

Analysis – “The credibility of the competition was at stake”

Chris Jones, BBC Rugby Union correspondent, told BBC Radio 5:

“There is relief all around, testing has shown it hasn’t spread further into the Wasps squad, more cases.

“The last few days have been nervous not only for Wasps but also for Premiership Rugby as they would have known that all the credibility of the competition was on the line here.

“Bristol was on standby but they can return to their celebrations after winning the Challenge Cup against Toulon this weekend.

“Who knows, maybe after a season compromised by the World Cup, the Saracens salary cap saga and the endless challenges and problems posed by the pandemic, it may, after all of this, end with a suitable final at Twickenham ?

“Hopefully that’s the case and the wasps can be at their best despite all the disruption.

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