Springbok training suspended following positive Covid test

A positive Covid test result from second-row Lood de Jager has thrown South Africa's preparation for the Lions Test series into turmoil

South Africa's Lood de Jager has tested positive to Covid. Image: Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
South Africa's Lood de Jager has tested positive to Covid. Image: Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

SOUTH AFRICA’S preparation for their three Test series against the British & Irish Lions, scheduled to be played on consecutive Saturday’s from 24th July, has been disrupted by a positive Covid test result from second-row Lood de Jager, which has led to training being suspended.

A statement issued by the world champions at lunchtime today [Monday] said:

Springbok training has been suspended for Monday following a positive test in the squad.

The players have been placed in preventative isolation prior to further PCR testing and a review of the testing data by the Medical Advisory Group (MAG).

Lood de Jager retuned a positive outcome in scheduled testing and, because of his close contact with a number of squad members, the entire group has gone into isolation.

An update will be issued following the review by the MAG and the further testing.

De Jager did not play in South Africa’s 40-9 victory over Georgia on Friday night.

This is the second time inside nine days that Springbok training has been suspended du to positive Covid test results from squad members. The squad was forced to isolate on 27th June after Vincent Koch, Herschel Jantjies and Sbu Nkosi were diagnosed with the virus.

This comes amid a growing crisis in South Africa as the Delta variant of the virus aggressively pushes a third Covid wave. President Cyril Ramaphosa warned last week that the country’s health system is “buckling” whilst imposing a two-week ban on all gatherings, indoors and outdoors, along with the sale of alcohol and travel to or from the worst hit areas of the country, such as Gauteng, where the Lions are currently based. An extended curfew has also been imposed, and schools shut early for holidays.

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About David Barnes 3384 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he 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. And tell me why a touring rugby side were allowed to go? 8 games was always stupid and possibly the final nail in the Lions coffin. Even worse no fans no atmosphere. Even if they win the tests they won’t even be as great as the class of 97.
    Tour should not have happened but when the gravy train is rolling …

  2. Can’t say I am surprised. The SA administration don’t look to be doing everything they can to put a halt to this. I hope he recovers.

    Can’t really see the tests happening right now. I think the closest we will get is SA “A”. But I am willing to be proved wrong. I want to see us disprove a lot of gobsh*tes in the media about the selections Gats has made.

  3. The Score on Friday was 40-09 not 49-0 please amend the article. Not good news re positive case

  4. this really isn’t good news for the tour. Questions have to be answered about the decision to play in SA when the situation over there is so bleak.

    I understand fully that the lions are a touring side, however we arent living in normal circumstances and whilst i apricate what the tour means to south africa, fans are watching the games from their homes, at around the same time they would be if the tout was UK&i based.

    Cash and business over player welfare i feel, and its begining to stink

    • Plus they keep the Lions brand alive as it does not appear to fit with World Rugby’s plan/strategy and can’t disagree with WR as I list interest after 1997 as it has become a circus.

      • I think it is very much part of World Rugby’s plans, but I 100% agree with you – its become a circus. Origins remember when we rarely saw an overseas team, hardly true these days

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