Relief in Samoa as Aussie players test return negative

The COVID-19 test results for two members of Australia's rugby sevens programme came back negative, Rugby Australia has announced.

“There are not currently any concerns for any other members of the program, and teams will return to training at Rugby Australia headquarters on Thursday,” their statement reads.

Rugby Australia had confirmed on Sunday that two squad members were put into self-isolation after showing symptoms of the novel coronavirus over the weekend, while their Sydney base was closed for two days to be thoroughly cleaned.

"All administrative staff have been advised to work from home, and the Australian Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams will not attend the facility on Monday or Tuesday," Rugby Australia's original statement said.

"Rugby Australia has implemented a stringent policy with regards to any player or staff member that experiences symptoms associated with the virus.

"The policy concerns any person who starts to exhibit signs and symptoms of the virus that has recently travelled overseas to any country or has been in direct contact with someone known to have the virus.

"The person must self-isolate for 14 days and be tested for COVID-19."

The previous weekend, Australia's men's sevens team participated at the Vancouver leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series, including a pool match against the Manu Samoa 7s who have since returned home.

Medical consensus suggests the virus has a usual incubation period (time between exposure and developing symptoms) of around three to seven days, and as long as 14 days in some cases.

Samoa also played against Australia at the Los Angeles Sevens on March 1st.

When news broke that the Australian squad members developed symptoms matching COVID-19, the All Blacks Sevens squad suspended all training.

With the tests coming back negative, it’s expected they will resume their normal programme.

The next two legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series are scheduled to take place in London and Paris in May.

However London was also set to host key matches at the now-postponed 2020 European Football Championship in June and July, and Paris’ French Tennis Open has been pushed back from May/June to September/October.

The World Rugby Sevens Series schedule has already been impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic, with the Singapore and Hong Kong legs postponed for six months to October.

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