THIS morning, Leeds Rhinos have taken the decision to close their training ground for a minimum five day period to act as a fire break following six players and one member staff testing positive for COVID-19 over the last ten days.

The club have acted swiftly to ensure the safety of all players, staff and their families. The cases have been linked by contact tracing however the decision has been taken as a pre-caution to try and halt the spread within the group.

All players and staff who have tested positive are isolating at home for a minimum of 10 days along with any other individuals who have been identified as a contact trace, as per government guidance. This week, the club has brought in additional pre-cautions including all players and staff undertaking a Lateral flow test every day before coming into the training ground.

However, in consultation with the RFL, the Rhinos have now opted to close the training ground for at least five days with all players and staff having to produce a negative PCR test before they return. All players and staff will also do a Lateral Flow Test each day whilst the training ground is closed.

The training ground will undergo its scheduled full deep clean this week whilst the players and staff are off site. In line with Government guidelines, Public Health England have been informed.

Leeds Rhinos Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield commented, “Firstly, I would like to thank our players and staff for how they have adhered to the guidelines and rules in place since we returned to training.

“We are in a privileged position as an elite sport that we can continue to train. With that privilege comes a great deal of responsibility. Whilst this may be a short disruption to our pre-season plans, it is important that we look after the well being of our people, their families and the local community.

“We have increased our bio security from last season and everyone is vigilant about ensuring we lessen the probabilities of spreading the virus. Because of our increased testing since New Year, it has become evident that, despite all our pre-cautions, the virus has continued to spread within the group. We hope this short period will act as a fire break and enable us to move forward next week,” added Sinfield.