Heineken Champions Cup: Scarlets have forfeited round one due to players in quarantine in Belfast

Bristol bears have been awarded a 28-0 victory with five match points. Credit: PA

Scarlets have forfeited their round one Heineken Champions fixture against Bristol Bears on Saturday due to the majority of players in isolation in Belfast.

The Scarlets were due to face Bristol at Ashton Gate this weekend but are unable to safely field a side.

Since returning from South Africa, the Scarlets have been in a 10-day coronavirus quarantine, with 32 players and staff in isolation in a hotel outside of Belfast.

The side are not due to come out of their 10-day quarantine period until Friday.

Bristol Bears will be awarded a 28-0 victory and will take the five points due to the forfeit.

Scarlets disruption due to Covid-19 Credit: PA

At present the Scarlets have 14 fit players training at Parc y Scarlets – seven senior players and seven development players. 

Scarlets Executive Chairman Simon Muderack says welfare and priority of players is important.

He said: "This is a great fixture between two great clubs, which supporters, players and staff on both sides were all looking forward to.

"But we felt that it was too much of a risk to ask the players currently in quarantine to play a game of this magnitude just a day after coming out of quarantine.

"The squad have been in isolation since the news of the this Omicron variant first emerged when they will still in Durban so it would be 15 days in all."

"Some of the players haven't played since the Benetton game on October 22 and as a club we have a duty of care to our players."

The club have returned with no positive cases of Covid 19 in all testing since since arriving in South Africa and Northern Ireland.

He added: "I would also like to stress that we have returned with no positive Covid-19 cases in all the rounds of PCR testing prior to leaving and since arriving in South Africa and Northern Ireland.

"We are all disappointed, but I am sure everyone will understand the situation we have found ourselves in through no fault of our own."

“We would like to thank everyone at Bristol Bears and EPCR for their understanding of our predicament and look forward to welcoming Pat Lam and his side to Parc y Scarlets for the return fixture in January.”

For those supporters who have purchased tickets and official coach travel for the game, further details will be published shortly.