Sale Sharks have been forced to forfeit their decisive Premiership clash with Worcester Warriors after six more players and two members of staff tested positive for COVID-19.
The cancellation means the Sharks cannot bridge the three-point gap to Bath and therefore miss out on the play-offs, with the Warriors awarded a 20-0 victory.
The contest, the sides’ final match of the regular season, was originally scheduled to take place last Sunday but was rearranged to Wednesday after 19 confirmed cases of coronavirus at Sale.
Premiership Rugby then confirmed eight further positives, which led to Wednesday’s announcement.
“This is devastating for Sale Sharks, the players and staff with COVID-19 denying the club the chance to challenge for the Premiership title at the final hurdle,” read a Sale statement.
“Sale Sharks and all involved with the club are determined to come back stronger than ever in time for next season.”
CLUB STATEMENT | Sale Sharks forfeit their Gallagher Premiership Round 22 match with Worcester Warriors on health and safety grounds.
— Sale Sharks (@SaleSharksRugby) October 7, 2020
In the play-offs, Exeter Chiefs will host Bath, while Bristol Bears head to Wasps.