Betfred Championship: Sheffield Eagles issue update on Oldham fixture after Covid-19 outbreak
Sheffield Eagles’ Betfred Championship fixture against Oldham is set to go ahead as planned despite further coronavirus cases being identified over the weekend.
Sheffield were forced to call off their last two matches against York City Knights and Bradford Bulls respectively following a number of positive Covid-19 tests within their camp.
Under Rugby Football League's coronavirus protocols, a team can withdraw from a game if seven or more senior players are unavailable - either through positive tests or because they are close contacts.
Sheffield Eagles’ general manager Liam Claffey said the number of Covid-19 cases at the club increased in the week leading up to the Bradford clash following the York postponement.
Three more players tested positive last weekend - on Friday, Saturday and Sunday - while a close contact of one of those players has since tested positive.
Still, Sheffield expect Sunday’s fixture against the Roughyeds at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium (3pm kick-off) to be on, provided no further cases are identified in either camp.
Claffey said the Eagles board will meet on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of rearranging the York match to a midweek date.
While the club would rather not play games during the week “for player welfare purposes”, the possibility of doing so hasn’t been ruled out.
The Bradford fixture has been cancelled due to a lack of available space in Eagles’ fixture calendar.
No points are awarded to either team in the event of a cancellation, with league positions determined by points percentage this season.
This is the second time Sheffield Eagles has battled a coronavirus outbreak during the 2021 campaign. Two players tested positive for the illness in May.