Munster squad home from SA minus 14 Covid cases

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Munster flagMunster's game against the Bulls was called off on Friday

Munster have arrived back in Ireland minus the 14 players and staff who remain in South Africa after testing positive for Covid-19.

The Irish province's two scheduled games in South Africa were postponed following the detection of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in the region.

One of their squad tested positive for Covid on Sunday but the rest of the group was cleared to fly home.

However, 13 further cases delayed their departure until Tuesday evening.

A Munster statement on Wednesday said that 34 players and staff had arrived back in Ireland after having recorded negative PCR tests in South Africa on Tuesday evening.

These personnel will now mandatory self-isolation and PCR testing at locations chosen by them.

The 14 players and staff who remain in South Africa will continue to quarantine in a Cape Town hotel until their isolation period is complete.

"Our thoughts continue to be with the 14 players and staff of Munster Rugby who remain at the designated quarantine hotel in Cape Town and are doing well," said a Munster statement.

The statement also passed on best wishes to the Cardiff squad who plan to depart South Africa on Thursday morning.

Munster are scheduled to play their European Champions Cup opener away to Wasps on 12 December with the competition's bosses seemingly unlikely to grant the Irish side a postponement despite their Covid cases.

The Irish province said that the club's academy manager Ian Costello and his staff are "overseeing the training schedule as preparations continue" for the European game.

"EPCR (European Professional Club Rugby) are aware of the situation and in contact with the province," the statement added.

Returning internationals who did not travel with the squad to South Africa following their involvement in Ireland's autumn Tests continue to train back in Limerick alongside the province's 'National Talent Squad' and 'Provincial Talent Squad' in preparation for the game with Wasps.

Munster were set to to face the Bulls last Saturday with this weekend's scheduled game against the Lions also postponed.

Cardiff will fly home on Thursday from Cape Town after two positive cases in their squad were discovered on Sunday, while Scarlets are isolating in a Belfast hotel having flown into Dublin in the early hours of Monday morning.

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