Munster Rugby are on their way home from South Africa after the cancellation of their two scheduled United rugby Championship Games.

Developments connected with the new COVID-19 variant have immediately placed Southern African nations on the UK and EU travel red lists.

Munster are one of four clubs to be in South Africa but all of these games will now be rescheduled to be played later this season.

The decision is based upon the latest guidance against non-essential travel to and from South Africa, the ban on direct flights to the UK and other home destinations and the potential hotel quarantines enforced upon those returning from South Africa.

“A period of assessment will now be required to better understand the impact of these new travel restrictions and how to reschedule these games within the current season,” read a URC statement.

Cricket Ireland has been actively monitoring and engaging in discussions with the ICC and government about the reported new Covid variant in southern Africa and its potential implications for teams participating at the current ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.

The Ireland Women’s cricket team is currently based in Harare, and have played two matches in the Group Stage of the tournament, with their next match scheduled for Monday. After the side’s win yesterday over the Netherlands, it is likely they will progress to the Super 6 round, where matches are currently scheduled for 1st, 3rd and 5th December.

“We are very concerned about the latest developments regarding the reported new Covid variant in Southern Africa,” said Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom.

“While the circumstances around travel restrictions and health advice is a fast-moving one, we have been in close contact with the ICC, the Irish government and sports bodies in both jurisdictions to better understand the facts, and to properly inform and reassure the squad leadership.

“Our decision-making will be first-and-foremost based on the health and safety of players and support staff.”

“We will provide updates as soon as we can.”

Four Irish golfers in South Africa for events on the DP World Tour also withdrew and are understood to be on their way home.


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