Bristol to play Premiership final if COVID-19-hit Wasps have to forfeit - report

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FILE PHOTO: Premiership Semi Final - Wasps v Bristol Bears
FILE PHOTO: Premiership Semi Final - Wasps v Bristol Bears

(Reuters) - Bristol Bears will face Exeter Chiefs in the English Premiership final if Wasps record more positive tests for COVID-19 next week and are unable to prepare for the Twickenham showpiece, British media reported on Friday.

Wasps, who defeated Bristol 47-24 in the semi-finals, cancelled their training for the remainder of this week after four players and three support staff members tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The report said an extra batch of tests has been arranged for Saturday before the next official round of Premiership screening on Tuesday.

Lee Blackett's side have returned to the final for the first time in three years but if they have to forfeit the title decider scheduled for Oct. 24, Bristol would replace them as the next highest-ranked side.

Under the league regulations, forfeits in regular season result in a 20-0 loss for the side unable to play, as was the case for Sale Sharks when they failed to play their match against Worcester Warriors due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the squad.

But a different scenario was approved in August for the final, which could hand Bristol a way back in the final despite a heavy defeat to Wasps last weekend.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)