Wasps given all-clear to play in Premiership final following coronavirus cases

Wasps given all-clear to play in Premiership final following coronavirus cases

Wasps have been given the green light to play in the Premiership final. Picture: Nigel French/PA

Wasps have been given the all-clear to take their place in Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership final against Exeter.

Seven Wasps players and four backroom staff had been diagnosed with coronavirus, before further tests were undertaken on Tuesday.

Premiership Rugby said in a statement: “Premiership Rugby can confirm that Wasps have been given the all-clear to take their rightful place in Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership rugby final against Exeter Chiefs.

“Everyone at Premiership Rugby is delighted to confirm Wasps’ place in the final after the latest round of tests as part of our PCR Covid-19 screening programme.”

Bristol, who finished third in the Premiership and were crushed 47-24 by play-off opponents Wasps 11 days ago, had been on stand-by to face European champions Exeter.

But Premiership Rugby confirmed Wasps’ presence at Twickenham in what will be a repeat of the 2017 final.

Wasps have been transformed under head coach Lee Blackett since he took charge earlier this year, winning 12 their last 13 games and surging up the Premiership table to finish second behind Exeter.

The club said that no further players or staff had tested positive.

A test from one of the club’s coaching staff, who tested negative on Saturday, was damaged in transit, and Wasps said that person would be working socially distanced until their result is confirmed.

Wasps will now return to training ahead of the final.

In a statement, Wasps chief executive Stephen Vaughan said: “I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to Premiership Rugby, the RFU, Public Health England and Public Health Warwickshire for their clarity and assistance throughout this whole process.

“As a club, we are delighted that we can now take our rightful place in this Saturday’s Premiership Rugby final.

“To all of our fans and well-wishers, thank you for your many messages of support. This final is for you!”

In a tweet, Bristol said: “We thought we might have been in… but now we’re out. Congratulations to @WaspsRugby and @ExeterChiefs. Deserved finalists and we wish you both the best of luck for the final. Go well!”

Bristol won the European Challenge Cup last week, and their rugby director Pat Lam said on Monday: “We absolutely believe that Wasps and Exeter should be contesting this final. They thoroughly deserve it.

“Lee has done an unbelievable job, and it’s fantastic for the Premiership to see what Exeter did on Saturday in winning the Champions Cup.”

Exeter rugby director Rob Baxter revealed that Chiefs players and staff also reported a clean bill of health following this week’s tests.

“We were completely negative right across the board,” Baxter said.

“It was great to have a message from Lee this morning to say their testing had gone well. Now, we can get on with things.

“Wasps are a form team. They have got numerous good players and threats. We are enjoying how we are playing as well.”

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