Scotland without nine players for ‘A’ international with England after positive Covid-19 case

Scotland will be without nine players for Sunday’s ‘A’ international against England after a positive Covid-19 case in their squad.

One player returned a positive test and subsequent contact tracing identified a group of eight potential contacts, all of whom are isolating.

Scotland cancelled plans to travel to Leicester on Thursday as the entire squad and management team were PCR tested.

Scottish Rugby said no further positive tests were returned “from the playing group” and Sunday’s game at Welford Road will go ahead as planned.

Five players have been called up including uncapped scrum-half Ben Vellacott, who joins Edinburgh from Wasps this summer, Glasgow Warriors duo Stafford McDowall and D’Arcy Rae, and Saracens forward Callum Hunter-Hill.

Scotland have delayed naming their team until 10.30am on Saturday.

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The Scottish Rugby Union said in a statement: “Scottish Rugby can confirm a Scotland Men’s player has tested positive for Covid-19 while preparing to face ‘England A’ this weekend.

“The player started self-isolation as per Scottish Government guidelines.

“Subsequent internal contact tracing identified a group of eight potential contacts who are also isolating and as such nine players have been ruled out of Sunday’s ‘A’ international fixture against England ‘A’ at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

“To respect medical confidentiality, Scottish Rugby will not name the individuals affected.”

Mike Blair, who is standing in for Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend while he is on duty with the British and Irish Lions, had named a 37-man squad for the game with England, which will then be trimmed back to 29 ahead of two full Test matches against Romania and Georgia next month.

Gloucester flanker Lewis Ludlow will captain England, who have selected 11 uncapped players for the non-cap international.

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