South Africa have suspended training and placed their squad in self-isolation after three of their players tested positive for Covid-19.
The news comes as the British and Irish Lions travel to Johannesburg ahead of the first tour match against Emirates Lions next Saturday.
The first test against the Springboks is on July 24th in Cape Town.
South Africa is battling a deadly third wave of coronavirus, which will see the Lions series played in empty stadiums.
The Springboks had been in a three-week conditioning camp in Bloemfontein before arriving in Johannesburg, where the positive cases were revealed.
The Lions squad and the South African players have been receiving vaccinations in recent weeks.
Before this news broke, Ireland legend Keith Wood spoke on Off the Ball yesterday about the viability of this series in the middle of a pandemic in South Africa.
"My own personal view is that it should have been delayed by four years and continue with the cycle as the cycle has gone. If that didn't happen you have to do it in the safest way possible.
"I know that there have been people on the show during the week saying that it is kind of hard when you have people on gurneys in hospitals and things like that.
"It is hard, but equally well, we do have to try and not stop the world from functioning entirely and try and have something that there's a little bit of joy in.
"That's an uneasy balance trying to figure out where that sits. I think there are plusses and minuses on both sides.
"For the players themselves, it's going to be a Lions Tour like no other. They are going to be pretty much hotel bound, bubble bound for the whole tour.
"How can you bond, how can you relax, there's very little relaxing when you can't get outside your hotel properly. So I think that makes it pretty tough.
"We're looking at a really unusual circumstance, and I think they are all going in with their eyes open. They've all been vaccinated, they should all be safe in themselves, but I imagine that there's a high likelihood of having some level of an outbreak and that could happen. We've seen it happen in sport for the last 18 months."
South Africa Rugby have issued a statement:
"The Springboks cancelled Sunday’s planned training session in Johannesburg as a precautionary measure when scheduled testing protocols returned three positive COVID-19 test results when the team assembled on Saturday.
"Three players tested positive for the virus following stringent real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing procedures on arrival at the team base.
"Team management immediately put the squad into self-isolation as a precaution until specialist medical advice is sought from the Castle Lager Lions Series Medical Advisory Group (MAG).
"A decision on further team activities will be made shortly.
"South Africa Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus emphasised that the team had followed all the necessary precautions since the start of the three-week conditioning camp hosted in Bloemfontein, which included mandatory COVID-19 testing three times a week, and that they would be led by specialist advice before any action is taken."
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