South Africa's Sevens team in quarantine as close contacts of COVID-positive passenger

Blitzboks head coach Neil Powell says the team is "in a good space, despite the upheavals we encountered once we arrived". RODGER BOSCH/AFP via Getty Images

South Africa's Men's Rugby Sevens team has been put into isolation upon arrival in Tokyo ahead of the Olympic Games, having been informed of a positive COVID case on their inbound flight.

None of the South Africans -- 14 players and four management -- returned a positive test, but a passenger not linked to the squad produced a positive return that has had a knock-on effect.

"It's an unfortunate situation, but there is no real cause for alarm," Patience Shikwambana, the Chef De Mission for Team SA at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, said.

"We were notified that a passenger aboard the flight tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival in Tokyo. As a compulsory precaution 18 members have now been put into quarantine.

"We are confident that a thorough assessment of the circumstances using the appropriate clinical and operational filters, will bring clarity and ultimately resolve the matter.

"We remain committed to a safe and fair Games for all participants."

The quarantine mean's the team's rugby sevens training camp in Kagoshima City will be shortened.

"We are in a good space, despite the upheavals we encountered once we arrived," head coach Neil Powell said.

"We have made a commitment to each other when we started this campaign that we will be mentally strong as well and that was tested with this episode. Adaptability -- both mental and physical -- will be key at this Olympics, and we already felt that when we arrived.

"We took a knock, but I can say the players took in their stride. We can only control the controllable, so we remain positive. We will still have a training session while we wait for clearance, the only difference is it will be via Zoom call with the players in their rooms."

The team will be tested again on Thursday, after which a decision on their travel plans will be made.