Shocked Salford CEO calls for more coronavirus testing before games

Salford chief executive Ian Blease has called on the governing body to increase the number of weekly coronavirus tests in Super League following this week’s outbreak.

The Red Devils were impacted by the news that their opponents on Sunday, Hull FC, had reported eight positive tests, including six players and two members of their coaching staff.

More than 2,000 tests had been undertaken prior to the weekend’s games, all coming back negative, but after this blow early after the season restart, Blease now thinks that more tests should be done – and in particular, in the 24/48 hours before a game.

He told Sky Sports: “You think you’ve done everything right as a group and as a club, so then to get this was a bit of a shock to be honest.

“It was a big ask to go through the rest of this season without some form of testing failure and that’s what we’ve got now.

“Fortunately for us, our tests from Monday have come back as negative for everybody, so that’s a positive. We took the decision to put everybody in isolation as a squad as a precaution, we want to take this really seriously and obviously players and staff have got families and close ones. We didn’t want to take any risks with this now.

“I think it’s time for us as a game now to look at our testing protocol, for example. We can learn a lesson off this. We should have a look at another test once a week.

“I’ve just done an email to the governing body to say we should look at doing twice weekly testing, and certainly one in the 48/24 hours before a game.

“It’s important to get the season broadcasting finished, so I’ve suggested that, and hopefully that will be taken on board.”

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