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Fiji rugby squad ravaged by Covid-19, 29 infections reported as Italy match cancelled

A second Autumn Nations Cup rugby match involving Fiji was cancelled today after the coronavirus outbreak in the squad spread.

The latest testing showed 29 players in the Fiji squad had Covid-19. (file) Source: Photosport

The Fiji squad includes 32 players as well as management staff.

Fiji's match against Italy on Saturday in Ancona was called off after new virus testing found 29 squad members infected.

Fiji's first match against France, scheduled last Sunday in Vannes, was cancelled last week after five positive tests appeared in the squad.

The outbreak threatens to eliminate Fiji's entire involvement in the new tournament. Fiji is also scheduled to go to Scotland in the third round and feature in a playoff on finals weekend.

“The main priority at present is the welfare of all players and management,” Cup organisers said in a statement. “The potential impact on Fiji’s remaining matches is currently under review.”

France was awarded a 28-0 win with a bonus point on Tuesday for the cancelled Fiji match.

Italy will receive the same.

Fiji was invited to join the Six Nations sides and Georgia in the Autumn Nations Cup, which has replaced the traditional tours of Europe by the southern hemisphere sides who cancelled because of the pandemic.