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It's all systems go for the Champions Cup decider


Finn Russell. Photo: Getty Images

Finn Russell. Photo: Getty Images

Finn Russell. Photo: Getty Images

Any lingering doubt over Exeter's Champions Cup final against Racing 92 has vanished after the French club returned no positive tests for coronavirus.

Nine Racing personnel were confirmed as having Covid-19 a fortnight ago, resulting in the postponement of their Top 14 clash with La Rochelle and all players and staff being placed into immediate home isolation as one of a number of emergency measures.

The Parisians relocated their training base to Corsica this week to prevent another outbreak and after undergoing testing on Tuesday, they have been given the all-clear to face Exeter at Ashton Gate tomorrow.

"We have had formal confirmation that neither finalist club has returned a COVID-positive test and that there is no risk to the match, which goes ahead," a statement by competition organisers EPCR read.

Exeter's clean bill of health was announced on Wednesday while Bristol and Toulon - the Challenge Cup finalists - also escaped any positives to ensure their match goes ahead as scheduled tonight.

Racing fielded a weakened XV for Saturday's home Top 14 defeat by Toulouse before departing for Corsica with their first-team squad - who were already isolated in a hotel bubble - the following day.

After spending five nights on the Mediterranean island where coronavirus rates are lower than Paris, they flew direct to Bristol today.

"It's been good. The weather has been quite nice. It's a nice hotel. It's good for us to be away and to stick together as a team in the build-up to the final," Racing's Scotland fly-half Finn Russell (inset) said.

"When you're back in Paris you would be in and out of the training centre and your house. It's been different. The start of this week has maybe not been 100pc but in the current climate we can't complain too much. We're in a hotel, we're in a bubble.

"We're not leaving the hotel, apart from training. The boys in France love playing cards, so there are quite a few card games going on."