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Newcastle-Sale clash called off due to Covid outbreak at Sharks

Cardiff’s meeting with Scarlets in the United Rugby Championship is also off.

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Newcastle’s match with Sale on Boxing has been called off (Mike Egerton/PA).

Newcastle’s match with Sale on Boxing has been called off (Mike Egerton/PA).

Newcastle’s match with Sale on Boxing has been called off (Mike Egerton/PA).

Sale’s Gallagher Premiership match away to Newcastle on Boxing Day has been called off due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Sharks squad.

Sale returned positive coronavirus tests overnight and “a significant number” of their squad have been ruled out of the match, Premiership Rugby said in a statement.

The Professional Game Board (PGB) testing oversight group and Sale have agreed the risk is too great for the game to go ahead safely.

A Premiership Rugby spokesperson said: “Our priority is the health and safety of everyone involved with Sale Sharks and Newcastle Falcons and we will give the clubs any support they need. We wish everyone affected a full and speedy recovery.

“Neither Premiership Rugby nor the club will be naming any of the players or staff involved and we’d ask everyone to respect their privacy.

Under the regulations, the match is cancelled and a Premiership Rugby panel will be convened to determine the allocation of points.

The announcement followed confirmation that Cardiff’s Boxing Day derby clash with Scarlets in the United Rugby Championship had been postponed.

A number of positive Covid cases were found in the Cardiff squad.

Cardiff liaised with the URC medical advisory group and Public Health Wales and it was deemed that the fixture could not take place as scheduled.

The URC will now consider available dates to reschedule the game.

All four of the URC games scheduled for Boxing Day have now been called off.

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