Wasps: Four more positive Covid-19 tests cast doubt on final appearance of Premiership

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The wasps’ joy of beating Bristol earlier this month could be short-lived if forced out of the game

The Wasps’ participation in Saturday’s Premiership final against Exeter at Twickenham is in doubt after four other players tested positive for Covid-19.

Four players and three staff tested positive last week, meaning the club now has eight self-isolated players who would not be available.

A decision on whether or not the Wasps can play will be made on Wednesday after another round of testing on Tuesday.

Bristol Bears will replace the Wasps if they are unable to complete the game.

The Bears finished third in the league and lost to wasps in the semi-finals earlier this month.

“After consulting with medical officials from Premiership Rugby, RFU and Public Health England, the club will continue to not train at this stage,” a statement from Wasps said.

“The club’s contact tracing, measures and Covid-19 protocols, which remain rigorous, will continue to be respected.

“Exeter Chiefs and Bristol Bears were made aware of the situation before this information was released. “

The Wasps, who finished second in the Premiership standings behind Exeter, lost to Rob Baxter in their last final appearance in 2017.

The Coventry-based club should have had an extra week of preparation for the game as the Chiefs played in the Champions Cup final on Saturday.

But Lee Blackett’s men have not trained since the seven positive tests were announced last Wednesday.

If Bristol replaces the Wasps, it will be the first time they advance to the season-end final and see the holders of both European Cup competitions play for the national title.

Exeter defeated Racing 92 Saturday for their very first Champions Cup title Bristol defeated Toulon to win the Challenge Cup final in Provence the day before.

Analysis

BBC Rugby Union Correspondent Chris Jones

With just five days to go, and the centerpiece of the Premiership remains in limbo, with a total of eight players at Wasps now testing positive for the virus last week.

The team will have another round of testing on Tuesday, but even though the Wasps are allowed to play their preparation has been hit hard as a number of players will be unavailable and have yet to resume training for their biggest game. For years.

Bristol remains on hold, with this latest news raising the Bears’ chances of being granted an unprecedented reprieve when a decision is made on Wednesday.

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