Ireland rugby squad hit with Covid case on eve of New Zealand test

Ireland rugby squad hit with Covid case on eve of New Zealand test

IRELAND'S PREPARATION'S for tomorrow's Test against New Zealand have been hit with a Covid scare. 

DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 12: Jack Conan of Ireland takes part in the Captains Run  (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

"A potential positive case has been identified in one person via the latest PCR testing carried out on the Ireland squad," a statement from the union read.

"Additional testing is being undertaken to establish if this is a false positive.

"The entire Ireland squad and management have undergone additional lateral flow and PCR testing today.

"The lateral flow testing returned no positives and the PCR results are expected later today."

The press conference that was scheduled for this afternoon at the Aviva Stadium will now be held remotely, they added.

Connacht hooker Dave Heffernan has been placed on standby, while the Irish Independent reported starting hooker Rónan Kelleher is present at the captain's run at the Aviva.

That alongside Iain Henderson’s promotion from the bench and Tadhg Beirne’s relegation to the replacements were the only changes to the match-day 23.

It remains to be seen if there are any further potential positive cases or proven close contacts, but Ireland may well be forced into further changes now.

Earlier, England forward Ellis Genge was ruled out of Saturday’s clash with Australia after coming back positive.

Ireland Team & Replacements (v New Zealand, Autumn Nations Series, Saturday, November 13, 3:15 pm)

15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 14 caps
14. Andrew Conway (Munster/Garryowen) 26 caps
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 35 caps
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 32 caps
11. James Lowe (Leinster) 7 caps
10. Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 100 caps CAPTAIN
9. Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 11 caps

1. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 38 caps
2. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 14 caps
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 50 caps
4. Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 64 caps
5. James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 38 caps
6. Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 10 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 33 caps
8. Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 21 caps