England’s plans for the Autumn Test clash with Australia on Saturday have been thrown into chaos again after prop Ellis Genge tested positive for Covid. The news leaves coach Eddie Jones with a front row crisis as first choice back-up Joe Marler is already in isolation.
Genge was tested on Thursday morning and then had a positive PCR test returned on Friday on the eve of the Test against Australia. Marler was ruled out on Tuesday after also testing positive.
It leaves Sale’s uncapped prop Bevan Rodd as the only specialist loosehead in the squad although Newcastle’s Trevor Davison can cover both sides of the scrum. Rodd has only been with the squad for a couple of days after being called up after Marler went into isolation.
No other player tested positive but the entire squad has now undergone a new round of PCR testing.
Jones announced the news at a Friday morning press conference: “Genge returned a positive PCR result on Friday morning from a test taken on Thursday morning [11 November]. He immediately went into isolation. No other positive test results were received among players or staff.
“Every day is an adventure and we are on a bit of a rollercoaster at the moment – Covid keeps coming. It’s a great opportunity for a young guy like Bevan Rodd. We’re disappointed for Ellis.”
Jones also confirmed that Davison had been called up onto the bench.