'Player welfare first' as Springboks' July Tests postponed due to Covid-19
CAPE TOWN - The Springboks' home Tests against Scotland and Georgia have been postponed due to ongoing government and health agency Covid-19 directives, World Rugby announced on Friday.
Extended travel and quarantine restrictions that apply to numerous countries, and concerns over adequate player preparation time, mean any sort of cross-border international rugby competition cannot be hosted in July.
The Springboks were scheduled to play Scotland in a two-game home Test series in Cape Town (on July 4, Newlands) and Durban (July 11, Kings Park), while the first-ever match between the Boks and Georgia on South African soil, was pencilled in for Port Elizabeth (July 18, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium).
Monitoring of the potential impact on the remaining 2020 international windows continues in collaboration with international rugby stakeholders and the respective authorities.
All parties, including member unions, international competitions, professional club competitions and International Rugby Players, will be involved in the evaluation of potential contingency options with a view to achieving an aligned calendar for the remainder of the year.
All decision-making will be entirely contingent on national government travel, quarantine and health advice and important player welfare and hosting considerations in line with return-to-rugby guidance recently published by World Rugby.
“Any solution will have player health, welfare and appropriate return-to-play protocols at heart,” said Jurie Roux, chief executive of SA Rugby.
“It would be inappropriate to comment of potential solutions during a fluid and important consultation process.”