SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux (left) Photo: Paul Childs/Action Images via Reuters
SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux (left) Photo: Paul Childs/Action Images via Reuters

Competitive action on the horizon, says SA Rugby

By Rugby Reporter Time of article published Jun 8, 2020

Share this article:

CAPE TOWN – With the ongoing covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc among sport worldwide, SA Rugby took it upon themselves to collaborate with the SA government on a set of return-to-train protocols.

This was done with a view to resuming competitive action in August – if not earlier – Jurie Roux, SA Rugby CEO, said on Monday.

Roux said that SA Rugby’s 500-page return-to-play manual had been in the hands of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture for some weeks.

“We believe we have a comprehensive and scientifically rigorous set of protocols to minimise the risk of transmission and allow a return to competitive rugby within the next two months,” said Roux.

“We have planned meticulously for the moment and know we have the infrastructure and capacity within our professional playing environment to safely deliver those protocols.

“Rugby – and sport in general – is probably better placed than 90 percent of other businesses to return to normalised activities as fitness testing and wellness measurement in general are part our DNA.”

Subscribe to the IOL Sport Newsletter!

Loss of matches due to lockdown

Roux said the probable loss of four months of the playing calendar would mean a re-working of the domestic calendar but he believed a re-designed Vodacom Super Rugby competition and the kick-off of the Currie Cup were both possible.

“Obviously, the international travel ban means Vodacom Super will undergo a re-design – as it has in New Zealand and Australia – but we are looking forward to its resumption,” said Roux.

SA Rugby president Mark Alexander. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu BackpagePix

Return to Test rugby

Meanwhile SA Rugby had planned for a range of possibilities for the return to Test rugby.

“There are a number of options,” said Roux.

“The postponed July tests could still take place here in October; our northern hemisphere tour in November has not been cancelled and the possibility of playing the Castle Lager Rugby Championship in a single venue in ‘a bubble’ has also been workshopped.

“But as those all remain unconfirmed and reliant on factors outside of our control. But we also have a few other ideas up our sleeve, which we’re quite excited about, and will announce if and when they become necessary.”

Roux said that South Africa – as all nations – was heavily involved with World Rugby on discussions around a re-working of the global calendar.

“The pandemic has had the side effect of wiping the slate clean when it comes to Test scheduling,” said Roux.

“It has created the necessity of finding solutions for exceptional circumstances in 2020 and re-opened questions about what works best from an audience and player welfare perspective.

“There are some very interesting ideas being discussed and SA Rugby would be keen to see this pandemic have some positive spin-offs in terms of realignment.

“We are working closely with our SANZAAR partners on what that might look like, but our current position is that we are well placed to head in any direction and open to all ideas. Like our partners, we have ruled nothing out.”

Rugby Reporter

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Share this article:

Related Articles