Ireland’s preparations for Saturday’s Autumn international against New Zealand have been rocked by a “potential positive Covid case” but assistant coach Simon Easterby insisted that management haven’t “ruled anyone out.”
IRFU chiefs have earlier this afternoon that one person has returned a positive test result but that additional testing is being undertaken to establish if this is a false positive. Officials also said that the entire Irish squad and background are now undergoing additional testing ahead of the clash against the All Blacks.
Easterby said that the results of those tests will decide their next course of action.
“We’ve retested today and the important thing is we get clarity. We haven’t ruled anyone out. As you know where you can have false positives and we have to make sure we give those guys an opportunity, give the respect to them, and it’s important we allow that process to happen.
“Hopefully, we get the clarity in the next hour or so and then we can prepare for the challenge.
“They are part of the game, we’re not the only team across the last couple of weeks who’ve had to deal with Covid issues.
“The important thing is we stay focused and don’t allow the little things that happen derail us. That we stay focused.
“We’ve got [a couple of] guys on standby. It’s important to respect those guys who are in the position who weren’t able to make the team run. It’s important to respect them until we have clarity on whether they’re ruled out or ruled in. There are guys, we’ve put certain things into place, to allow us to get cover if we need to. I think the players have learned to cope with it over the past two years, they’ve been through those moments with the provinces.
“There’s been hiccups along the way in different environments and they’re dealing with it really well
“They know that these things are a reality and you can go one of two ways, you can let it get to you and concern you or you can say, you know what, we’re as focused as we can be and if guys have to come in then guys are so good at getting across each other and making sure that everyone is fully understanding of what their role will be. And in that sense it’s one of those challenges that may come up in stages over the next couple of years and this is just another one of those we