England's Francis out of training camp after COVID-19 positive

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup warm-up match - England v Wales - Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, Britain - August 11, 2019 England's Piers Francis at the end of the match REUTERS/David Klein/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Northampton Saints centre Piers Francis has tested positive for COVID-19 and been excluded from this week’s England training camp ahead of the autumn internationals, the national team said on Tuesday.

Francis played last Tuesday against Sale Sharks, whose final game of the season against Worcester Warriors was postponed from last Sunday to Wednesday after 16 members of their squad returned positive tests.

The outbreak also led to Northampton’s last match at Gloucester being cancelled, with Gloucester being awarded a 20-0 victory, due to several Northampton players being ordered to isolate after coming in to contact with infected players in their 34-14 defeat to Sale.

England are holding a three-day camp this week with 28 players to prepare for their match against the Barbarians on Oct. 25 and their final, rescheduled Six Nations encounter away to Italy on Oct. 31.

England will play four matches as part of the Autumn Nations Cup including fixtures against Georgia, Ireland and Wales.

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis