Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter believes the coronavirus outbreak in the Fiji camp may have stemmed from a bus-trip to their Autumn Nations Cup base camp in France, an overseas media outlet reports.
Fiji had to forfeit all their three pool matches after 29 members of the travelling squad tested positive for coronavirus and were placed in isolation for 14 days. France, Italy and Scotland were awarded bonus-point wins as a result.
Cotter told innews.co.uk, that they may have picked up the virus during the bus trip to join the Autumn Nations Cup proper on 8 November. Prior to this, the team’s logistics were handled by the Fiji Rugby Union.
He told the London-based media outlet, that the situation may have been different had they been allowed more time together in one hotel before the competition. Instead, the team was moving from one hotel to another, unlike other teams which were together from the start and were in a bubble during their Six Nations’ commitment.
“We almost certainly picked the virus up on the bus, or at a motorway stop, when we moved from Limoges. It is so disappointing as we were looking forward to getting stuck into this competition. But this is Covid, and with Covid, you don’t look at blaming people,” he told the news outlet.
According to the same report, all players except France-based Kitione Kamikamica is available for selection for the Georgia game this weekend.
Meanwhile, the team is reportedly in high spirits for the Georgia game which is also their first and final Autumn Nations Cup match. Their participation, however, in the match which doubles as the seventh/eighth place play-offs at the Murrayfield Stadium hinges on approval from Scotland authorities.
Photos: Courtesy of Fiji Rugby Union