Six members of the Cardiff playing and backroom staff who returned positive tests will remain in Cape Town; those returning from South Africa will undergo a 10-day quarantine at an approved hotel in London
Last Updated: 03/12/21 12:16pm
Cardiff Rugby are due to arrive back in the United Kingdom via Ireland on Friday evening, after being stranded in South Africa since the emergence of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.
The squad were due to leave Cape Town on Thursday in what was their fourth attempt to leave South Africa. However, their original flight to Dublin was cancelled when their landing slot was withdrawn.
The travelling party of 42, who returned negative PCR results on five consecutive days since South Africa was placed on the UK travel red list, will arrive at Heathrow, via Dublin, before they undergo a 10-day quarantine at an approved hotel in London.
Six members of the playing and backroom staff who returned positive tests will remain in Cape Town.
A statement from Cardiff said: “While we are grateful to confirm the departure of 42 players and staff today, attention now turns solely to the six who have been forced to stay in South Africa.
“They remain in good health and are receiving the best possible care and support necessary.”
Cardiff are due to play defending champions Toulouse in the European Champions Cup at The Arms Park on Saturday December 11, and intend to field a team comprised of academy players, reserves and Wales internationals who did not travel to South Africa.
European Professional Club Rugby has relaxed player registration rules in response to the plight of four sides who found themselves stranded in South Africa, but stressed there are no spare weekends to accommodate postponements.
The majority of players and staff from Munster and Zebre have since returned to Ireland and Italy respectively to complete their periods of isolation but the Scarlets remain in a quarantine hotel just outside Belfast.