Two players positive in latest Premiership COVID-19 tests

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Premiership - Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - March 23, 2019 General view of a ball during the warm up Action Images/Ed Sykes

(Reuters) - The English Premiership said on Wednesday that two players returned a positive result in its latest round of COVID-19 tests conducted on 896 players and club staff this week.

The season was suspended in March in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak but clubs were allowed to begin close contact training earlier this month.

“The players who have tested positive and their close contacts will now isolate and be assessed in line with the PHE (Public Health England)-agreed guidelines,” the Premiership said in a statement.

“No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided.”

There have been a total of 21 positive cases in three rounds of the COVID-19 screening programme, which began on July 6.

The Premiership, which has nine rounds remaining, will resume on the weekend of Aug. 14-16.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis