Rhinos latest to be hit by Covid 19 postponement
This weekend sees the Rhinos game against St Helens become one of the first two games postponed in the Betfred Super League so far in the competition this year.
All players in the competition have to adhere to extra pre-cautions above and beyond what the general public have to follow from the government with testing twice a week and the usual preparations for games being hugely impacted for all players over the last year.
Whilst Super League is dealing with its first postponements this season, there have been nine postponements in the English Rugby Union Premiership due to positive Covid 19 test this season including both of Gloucester Rugby‘s last two games. Covid 19 has also impacted on the Rainbow Cup involving the Pro 14 clubs this weekend with two positive cases at Welsh club Ospreys meaning they can not play and handing Italian side Benetton a walk over into the Final of the competition. Rugby Union also saw its Six Nations competition thrown into doubt when France’s game against Scotland was postponed in March.
The Premier League in football, despite their seemingly endless resources, too have had to deal with postponements. In the middle of their season back in January, as we are now in Super League, they had 79 positives cases that followed an incident in late December when Manchester City’s game against Everton was called off four hours before kick off because of positive test results and the impact of track and trace.
Interestingly, research has shown that when transmission rates are high in the community that has an impact on transmission rates in professional rugby. A report in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in February 2021 found that the number of new weekly COVID-19 cases in professional rugby appears to be related to community COVID-19 cases. When community prevalence is increased, more professional rugby players are likely to have COVID-19. With the Delta variant now the UK’s most dominant strain and spreading through schools it is perhaps inevitable that more cases would arise.
In 2021, other sports too have bourn the brunt of positive tests. The multi million pound Indian Premier League in cricket were forced to abandon their season because of high transmission rates despite stringent bio security measures. Last Saturday, Spanish golfer Jon Rahm had to walk away from a potential £1 million plus victory at the USPGA Memorial Tournament in Ohio after testing positive.
In the world of entertainment, even megastar Tom Cruise has had to deal with the impact of positive test results with filming on his Mission Impossible 7 film halted this week as a result.