Ireland rugby squad hit with potential Covid case

The Irish squad have been hit with an ill-timed and unsettling development after the IRFU confirmed a potential positive Covid case has been identified in one person in the Ireland squad on the eve of tomorrow’s Autumn Series test against New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium.

“A potential positive case has been identified in one person via the latest PCR testing carried out on the Ireland squad,” read the IRFU statement, adding: “Additional testing is being undertaken to establish if this is a false positive.”

The statement also said that “the entire Ireland squad and management have undergone additional lateral flow and PCR testing today. The lateral flow testing returned no positives and the PCR results are expected later today.

“Further updates will follow later today.”

Although unconfirmed, apparently Connacht hooker Dave Heffernan has been placed on standby.

Ronan Kelleher had been picked to start while Rob Herring had been promoted at the expense of last week’s debutant Dan Sheehan. That alongside Iain Henderson’s promotion from the bench and Tadhg Beirne’s relegation to the replacements were the only changes to the match-day 23.

It remains to be seen if there are any further potential positive cases or proven close contacts, but Ireland may well be forced into further changes now.

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