One of the Cardiff stars who has been stuck in South Africa has branded the United Rugby Championship a “shambles of a league” and hit out angrily at the region’s treatment.
Back-three flyer Matthew Morgan, capped five times by Wales, vented his fury on social media on Thursday morning as Cardiff were waiting on a return to the UK, where they would need to quarantine for 10 days at an English airport hotel after initially arriving in Dublin.
He tagged in the United Rugby Championship’s official Twitter account for his strongly worded comments and also labelled the Welsh Government “a joke” for not doing more to help them return home.
Morgan hastily deleted his tweet, but it had already been screen-shotted by others on social media.
The Cardiff man had posted: “What a shambles of a league @URCofficial is. Shocking they dragged us out to South Africa in the first place and can’t even fly us home. And @WelshGovernment is getting more of a joke day by day. Get us the f*** out of here you clowns.”
Morgan went on to use an emoji of a clown’s face.
The Welsh Government has been backed for refusing to make an exemption for the rugby players, although others have also been heavily critical of the rules which prevent Cardiff Rugby from flying back to Wales and isolating here.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “In order to keep Wales safe, under Welsh law, it is illegal for anyone who has been in a red list country in the last 10 days to enter Wales directly. Therefore there are no quarantine facilities in Wales.”
It is our understanding that Welsh Government officials have been liaising closely with Cardiff about the situation and were having conversations into the early hours of Thursday morning.
Morgan soon deleted his controversial tweet, which was likely to cause concern among URC bosses.
They trumpeted the involvement of the leading South African teams in a new 16-team league as a major boost for a competition which has often come under fire over the years.
Cardiff have a 48-strong touring party in South Africa and 42 of them were due to leave Cape Town on Thursday morning, with their six positive Covid cases remaining at a government quarantine hotel in South Africa. However they say their landing slot was withdrawn and they are now due to leave South Africa on Friday morning.
Cardiff had been due to travel to England, via Dublin, on Thursday and then complete the 10 days of mandatory hotel isolation, which would end on Monday, December 13, before returning to Wales.
The Scarlets have also been caught up in the new twist to the Covid crisis. They have already flown out of Cape Town and are currently at a quarantine hotel just outside Belfast, having travelled by bus from Dublin.
Cardiff’s next game is a European Cup crunch with Toulouse on December 11. They have pledged to fulfil the fixture, despite the bulk of their squad still being in quarantine.
A number of Wales internationals – Josh Adams, Willis Halaholo, Tomos Williams, Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies, Ellis Jenkins and James Botham – did not travel to South Africa and could form the spine of a team to face the defending champions.
The gaps will be filled by squad players and academy youngsters.
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