13 Mar 2020

Rhinos opt not to travel to Catalans

Leeds Rhinos have decided not to travel to Spain this morning for the scheduled Betfred Super League clash against Catalans Dragons, due to be played this Saturday behind closed doors at Stade Gilbert Brutus in Perpignan, on medical grounds.

A member of the Leeds Rhinos squad has self-isolated after showing symptoms of possible coronavirus. The player is being managed in line with the current Department of Health guidance and subsequent steps for the rest of the squad, if necessary, will be advised by the Rhinos medical team in conjunction with the NHS.

It was decided by the RFL Board on Tuesday that the game should go ahead behind closed doors after the French authorities banned gatherings of over 1,000 spectators. However, both clubs have remained in regular dialogue since then and, following the latest development, it was decided that the team should not travel to Spain and France this weekend. The team were due to fly to Barcelona on Friday morning before travelling north to Perpignan ahead of Saturday’s game and then returning to UK via Barcelona on Sunday afternoon.

Leeds Rhinos Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield commented, “We are disappointed to be in a position whereby we have had to make this decision but the health and well being of everyone is our paramount concern particularly with us having to fly to fulfil the fixture. We were travelling on a scheduled flight to Barcelona and with one of our players self-isolating, we felt it was the responsible thing to do both for our players and staff and members of the public who we would share the flight with. I would like to thank Catalans Dragons for their understanding.”

The Rugby Football League added "We have been advised by Leeds Rhinos that they will not be travelling to France to fulfil their scheduled fixture against Catalans Dragons. The consequences of this decision on the match, and any sanction, will be determined by the RFL Board."

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