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Leeds release statement explaining fixture suspension

Leeds Rhinos have confirmed that, following a full round of PCR testing for the players and backroom staff on Monday, a further two positive tests have been recorded to add to the previous six announced last week. 

Because of the additional positive Covid 19 cases over the last four days, the club has worked closely with the RFL’s Multiple Case Group (MCG) to discuss the impact and next steps, in line with the Multiple Case Framework.

As a result, the Multiple Case Group have determined that the Rhinos must shutdown for a further 5-day period, with the next round of PCR testing on Saturday 19th June, should this produce no further positive cases the team training ground can then re-open from Monday 21st June, twelve days after the last training session.

Close contacts and positive cases must remain in full isolation as per government guidelines. At present, there are eight positive Covid 19 cases in the playing squad with six in self-isolation having been identified as close contacts.

The rationale for this decision is to ensure that any trace of the virus is eradicated prior to return to the training ground. This process will remain under review depending on the test results over the next five days.

As a result of the PCR tests not taking place until Saturday 19th June and in line with regulations for teams travelling to France, this Saturday’s game against Catalans Dragons in Perpignan will be postponed with clubs having begun discussions with the RFL and Super League Europe about rearranging the match later this summer.

The eight positive players must complete their isolation periods and be able to complete all daily living activities without excessive fatigue and/or breathlessness and walk a minimum of 500m on the flat without getting breathless.  The six players will each need to then complete the Covid-19 Graduated Return to Training (C19-GRTP) and follow the six stages of the RFL’s COVID-19 Graduated Return to Play (C19-GRTP) with each stage the equivalent to a minimum of 24 hours before they are declared fit and available for selection.

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