MX23RW : Tuesday, August 3 14:57:04| >> :600:1139973:1139973:

Catalans' clash with Leeds called off due to Rhinos Covid outbreak

The Rhinos have had eight positive tests.

The Betfred Super League fixture between Catalans Dragons and Leeds in Perpignan on Saturday has been postponed after the Covid-19 outbreak in the Rhinos camp worsened.

Leeds' home game against St Helens last Friday was called off after two players returned positive tests and a number of others were forced to isolate.

Another four players tested positive by the end of the week and, after two more rounds of testing, the club have revealed the number of positives has now gone up to eight.

That meant another postponement and the Rugby Football League's multiple cases group has extended the closure of Leeds' training ground for another five days, until a further round of PCR tests on Saturday.

The Rhinos, who also cancelled their scheduled away game against the Catalans in 2020, say they had just 14 players available last week.

The news is a body blow to the Dragons, who had been given the go-ahead to host 5,000 fans this week, compared to just 1,000 for each of their two previous home games, following an easing of lockdown restrictions in France.

The clubs are likely to be given permission to play the fixture on the weekend of the Challenge Cup final on July 17 but that will be of little consolation to coach Steve McNamara, whose side have made their best-ever start to a Super League season and top the table with eight wins from their opening nine matches.

The French club secured a television deal with broadcaster beIN Sports at the start of the season and Saturday's game was also due to be shown live in the UK on Sky.

Leeds pulled out of their trip to Perpignan last March because forward Joe Greenwood, who was on loan from Wigan at the time, had shown Covid-19 symptoms, although he subsequently tested negative.

After initially warning that the Rhinos could face sanctions for not fulfilling the fixture, RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer said no action would be taken because of the "exceptional circumstances".

The RFL ruled the game should be re-arranged but it became one of several fixtures to fall by the wayside as the impact of the pandemic continued right to the end of the season, with final positions determined by win percentages.

Huddersfield, whose fixture against Wigan last Friday was also postponed due to an outbreak of Covid-19, have resumed training this week and say Friday's home game against Salford will go ahead.

St Helens Women's Super League game against York on Sunday is also set to go ahead after they were cleared to resume training this week following the postponement of the derby fixture with Wigan.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States24282173
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee13211852
Great BritainGreat Britain13171343
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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