BRFU boycotts World Tens Series over Covid protocol as SX10 player tests positive
The World Tens Series has been dealt another blow after a SX10 squad player tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the tournament kicking off at the National Sports Centre on Sunday.
Days after the South American franchise were forced to withdraw, the World Tens Series confirmed yesterday that the SX10 player returned a positive test result after the latest round of testing.
“All the remaining members of the SX10 squad tested negative at the same time, and since then they have all retested again and have all recorded negative results,” the World Tens Series said in a statement.
“However, with the strict protocols in place by both the Government of Bermuda and the World Tens Series, all members of the SX10 squad have been self-isolating.”
The organisers have confirmed that SX10 will not take part in round one tomorrow and Monday when the tournament begins, therefore forfeiting their matches. The other six teams will be awarded a 6-0 victory.
“The World Tens Series management team is in close dialogue with local authorities and, at this stage, if the SX10 squad continues to return negative test results, they will be ready to return to play next week for round two of the World Tens Series League,” the organisers said.
The news comes in the wake of the Bermuda Rugby Football Union expressing its concerns over the lack of established Covid-19 protocols not being followed and as a result, refused to sanction the event.
Corey Cross, the BRFU secretary, took to social media to alert all teams and members of the union’s concerns over a break in protocol, as had been established between World Rugby and the health and national security ministries.
As a result, BRFU says it will not be providing personnel support to the event until after all parties involved in the World Ten Series event satisfy the ”Return to Rugby“ protocols established by the BRFU.
Cross wrote: “To all Bermuda Rugby Football Union members, you will be aware of the plans by the World Tens Series to hold a rugby tournament in Bermuda within the next few weeks.
“The World Tens Series engaged with the Bermuda Tourism Authority in regards to its intentions to hold a rugby tournament on the island. BRFU was not involved in this engagement until after the agreement between the WTS and BTA was finalised.
“The WTS event is not sanctioned by the BRFU. BRFU has individually developed a “Return to Rugby” plan, which includes a protocol to be followed in order to mitigate the risks of Covid-19 exposure. This plan has been agreed by World Rugby and Bermuda’s ministries of health and national security.
“WTS has separately agreed a protocol with the ministries of health and national security for the event. BRFU was not involved in their planning.”
The tournament, which will start tomorrow after a 24-hour delay because of Hurricane Epsilon, could be impacted further by the withdrawal of support personnel, including local match officials.
“Due to WTS protocols not aligning with the BRFU protocols, BRFU has taken the decision not to provide personnel support to the WTS event until after all parties involved in the WTS event satisfy the Return to Rugby protocols established by BRFU,” Cross said.
“BRFU is aware that there have been requests from individuals associated with WTS for Bermuda-based players to participate in their tournament. It is the position of BRFU that anyone who decides to participate in the World Tens Series event does so at their own risk, without the backing of the BRFU.
“BRFU has undertaken to monitor the WTS progress towards meeting the BRFU protocols and in due course will consider whether the BRFU referees society may participate in the event thereafter.”