Cardiff rugby team unable to leave South Africa after suspected Omicron covid case

28 November 2021, 14:46 | Updated: 28 November 2021, 15:07

The Cardiff side is stuck in South Africa (file image)
The Cardiff side is stuck in South Africa (file image). Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Rugby union side Cardiff haven't been able to leave South Africa after two people tested positive for coronavirus.

One of the cases is suspected to be the new variant Omicron. It means all those travelling with the team were forced to isolate back in their hotel.

Cardiff Rugby is working closely with officials both in South Africa and in Wales to work out the next steps.

The club said in a statement that the "entire travelling party" was forced to abandon plans to come home and instead had to return to their team hotel.

"The club are also continuing to work with all relevant authorities to secure the travelling party’s return to Wales when safe and appropriate," a statement said.

"Everybody concerned in this highly challenging situation would like to thank their families, friends, colleagues and the wider rugby family for their many messages of concern and well wishes."

Earlier in the week the side was scrambling to get back to the UK.

A Cardiff statement read: “Cardiff Rugby continue to work tirelessly to repatriate their travelling party from South Africa following sudden developments around the Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529.

"A charter aircraft has been secured, however we have been unable to secure Civil Aviation Authority clearance due to the closure of borders in the UK and European Union.”

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