The South African rugby union squad, which is currently preparing for the home series against the British and Irish Lions, have had to suspend a training session after lock Lood de Jager, who plays in England for Sale Sharks, tested positive for COVID-19.
As a result the entire squad of nearly 50 players was put into isolation because, according to South Africa Rugby, de Jager had been in close contact with "a number of squad members", AP reports.
It is the second time in just over a week that the Springboks have had positive tests in their squad.
Prop Vincent Koch, halfback Herschel Jantjies and wing Sbu Nkosi all tested positive on June 26 when the players assembled in Johannesburg, which resulted in the following day’s training session being cancelled while players isolated.
Jantjies was later cleared and played in South Africa’s win over Georgia on Friday (July 2) in the first of two Tests that will serve as the Springboks’ warm-up for the Lions series.
De Jager, Koch and Nkosi did not feature in the first Test against Georgia in Pretoria.
De Jager and Koch had recently travelled to South Africa from Britain, where they play club rugby.
South Africa are due to play their second Test against Georgia on Friday (July 9) in Johannesburg.
The three-Test series against the Lions is scheduled to start on July 24.
South Africa Rugby said it would give an update once a medical advisory group put in place for the Lions tour specifically to deal with COVID-19 issues reviewed de Jager’s case.
South Africa is in the grip of a third wave of the virus and recorded more than 26,000 new cases on Saturday (July 3), the country’s highest daily count in the pandemic.
South Africa and the Lions decided to go ahead with the six-week tour despite expectations that it would be postponed or moved to another country because of the pandemic.
The Lions plan to play seven of their eight games in Johannesburg and Cape Town to minimise their travel.
The British and Irish Lions opened their tour with a 56-14 win over South African domestic team the Lions at Ellis Park on July 3.
No fans are allowed to attend any sports events in South Africa because of the COVID-19 pandemic.