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Toronto Wolfpack look within after Leeds Rhinos player goes into self-isolation

March 13, 2020 - 2:37 PM

The Toronto Wolfpack are looking within after news that a Leeds Rhino player has self-isolated after showing "symptoms of possible coronavirus."

The transatlantic rugby league team played the Rhinos on March 5, losing 66-12 in Super League play.

"The fact that we played Leeds Rhinos (eight) days ago, yeah for sure, it's a concern," said Wolfpack coach Brian McDermott, who has been in talks with Kevin Sinfield, Leeds director of rugby.

McDermott said that none of his players had shown any symptoms.

"We're taking all the steps and all the measure that we need to take," said McDermott, who used to coach Leeds. "Our medical department's on it heavily. We're in constant dialogue with all players and staff, checking for symptoms. We're going through the right protocols.

"There's an element of the unknown in front of everybody, isn't there?"

Toronto's next Super League game is March 22 at Wakefield Trinity.

Leeds announced Friday that the team would not play at Catalan Dragons on Saturday. The game had been scheduled to be played behind closed doors at Stade Gilbert Brutus in Perpignan following a local ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 spectators.

The Rhinos said the player in question was "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."

The Rugby Football League, the sport's governing body, issued a terse release on Leeds' decision not to play on the weekend.

"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."

Rugby league is one of the few sports still active in Britain, now that the Premier League has called a halt to play.

"It makes sense to follow suit of what the Premier League is doing," said McDermott. "We're aware that the RFL and Super League are in dialogue with clubs and we await their direction."

Sinfield stood by the Rhinos decision not to travel this weekend.

"We were travelling on a scheduled flight to Barcelona (en route to Perpignan) 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," he told the club website.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 13, 2020.


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News from © The Canadian Press, 2020
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