“It is with deep frustration that Northampton Saints can confirm that the Club’s scheduled Gallagher Premiership Round 22 fixture against Gloucester Rugby on Sunday 4 October at Kingsholm will not take place,” said Mark Darbon, Northampton Saints Chief Executive.
“As a result of a large number of positive COVID-19 tests at Sale Sharks, a number of our playing squad are required to self-isolate following close contact during our game against Sale on Tuesday evening.
“Specifically, this has acutely impacted our front row – an area where we were already significantly depleted owing to a series of injuries. Of the 14 front row players in our squad, we are left with just one tighthead prop and one hooker available to be included in the matchday squad.
“As soon as we were aware of the situation, we asked for permission to register loan players beyond the normal deadline in order that we could attempt to complete the fixture. We were advised that this dispensation will not be granted. We therefore have no option to bring in additional players as cover.
“We are extremely disappointed that our season has ended this way; an outbreak of coronavirus at another Premiership Club has left us with no viable option other than to forfeit our game.
“So far, none of our players are symptomatic and, where required, continue to follow all guidance to isolate.”