The entire Ireland squad and management team has passed its PCR tests today meaning Saturday's matchday squad to face New Zealand is unchanged after a Covid scare.

Earlier today the IRFU said a positive case had been identified, with the player in question and an identified close contact immediately isolated from the remainder of the group when the issue arose and lateral flow and PCR testing of the entire squad and management was carried out.

However the IRFU tonight confirmed the individual who produced a positive test has subsequently had two PCR tests at two separate labs, returning negative results on both.

"The player and the identified close contact have been cleared by public health and the tournament organisers to take their places in the match day squad," a statement read.

An originally-scheduled in-person press conference at the Aviva Stadium with assistant coach Simon Easterby was held remotely.

Easterby said that the management would wait until later before amending the selection if necessary, which has not proven to be the case.

"They [positive Covid test] are part of the game, we're not the only team across the last couple of weeks who've had to deal with Covid issues.

"The important thing is we stay focused and don't allow the little things that happen derail us. That we stay focused."

Easterby with Tadhg Furlong at training

"It's important to respect those guys who are in the position who weren't able to make the team run. It's important to respect them until we have clarity on whether they're ruled out or ruled in.

"There are guys, we've put certain things into place, to allow us to get cover if we need to.

"I think the players have learned to cope with it over the past two years, they've been through those moments with the provinces.

"There's been hiccups along the way in different environments and they're dealing with it really well

"They know that these things are a reality and you can go one of two ways, you can let it get to you and concern you or you can say, you know what, we're as focused as we can be and if guys have to come in then guys are so good at getting across each other and making sure that everyone is fully understanding of what their role will be.

"And in that sense it's one of those challenges that may come up in stages over the next couple of years and this is just another one of those we have to adapt to and make sure we don't use it as an excuse."

The photograph that was taken at the stadium today featured two players, hooker Dan Sheehan and lock Ryan Baird, who were not named in the original 23-man squad.

Earlier, England forward Ellis Genge was ruled out of Saturday’s clash with Australia after returning a positive test.

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