Edinburgh Rugby academy player tests positive for COVID-19

Update: National Clinical Director Jason Leitch says the player attended a house party with several team-mates

An Edinburgh Rugby academy player has been diagnosed with Covid-19. Image: FOTOSPORT/DAVID GIBSON
An Edinburgh Rugby academy player has been diagnosed with Covid-19. Image: FOTOSPORT/DAVID GIBSON

A MEMBER of Edinburgh Rugby’s academy programme has tested positive for COVID-19, and three further players are self-isolating, with investigations ongoing into the possibility that the exposure occurred at a social gathering last week.

The diagnosis came from routine testing by the club. Potential contact by the affected player with other members of the Edinburgh squad has been fully reviewed by external medical professionals from the Lothian Health Protection Team and no further action was required.

“The club’s stringent COVID-19 protocols and mitigations provided additional medical confidence for the team to travel to France for its European Challenge Cup quarter-final tomorrow,” said a statement issued by the club.

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“The positive result is not thought to have originated from within club’s own training bubble at BT Murrayfield and Edinburgh Rugby along with Scottish Rugby are investigating a possible link to a social gathering last week,” the statement added, “We would treat a suspected breach of our own, and the Government’s public health guidelines, extremely seriously and will take appropriate actions and steps as required.

“All club personnel have been advised to remain vigilant and be aware of, and report, any subsequent symptoms.

“Scottish Rugby and Edinburgh Rugby would like to thank the Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland for sharing their respective expertise and advice in the handing of this case.”

UPDATE: National Clinical Director Jason Leitch did not mince his words when addressing the matter during the Scottish Government’s daily coronavirus briefing earlier today.

“The young man in question is one of four academy players who attended a house party last Friday, in doing so they breached the general restrictions on social gatherings and also the protocols that were agreed between Scottish Rugby and the Scottish Government,” he said. “This is clearly unacceptable and I am personally disappointed that after all the hard work that has gone into the return of elite sport with the rugby authorities, that this has happened.”

“This is a hugely disappointing incident for us and rugby. Rugby like other performance sports has been given the go-ahead on the strict condition that clubs and players abide by the guidance that has been agreed. That is a message that we have re-emphasised very strongly to the relevant parties yesterday and today. I spoke yesterday and this morning to the leaders at Scottish Rugby, and they are taking this incident very seriously indeed. I have asked them to check and re-check their protocols and procedures and report back to me a week today.”

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About David Barnes 4012 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Not condoning this breach, but I do feel for young people at the moment. They’re having to sacrifice so much when they themselves are at least risk. At that age social interactions mean everything and a year feels like an eternity. I hope some compassion is shown when dealing with these players.

  2. No messing about from Prof Leitch! Absolute idiocy from the player in question and while I doubt this incident on it’s own is going to see the return of rugby pushed back, it’s a black mark against the good name of rugby football.


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