Am: Boks would be disappointed if Rugby Champs is cancelled

Lukhanyo Am says the Springboks would be very disappointed if the 2021 Rugby Championship is called off due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The championship was thrown into turmoil last Friday due to new Covid-19 regulations in Australia and New Zealand.

In a statement, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) unilaterally announced the All Blacks’ two home Rugby Championship Tests against South Africa will not be played in New Zealand, and that the All Blacks would not be flying to Perth this weekend for the third Bledisloe Cup Test which was scheduled to be played at Optus Stadium on 28 August.

The Springboks were originally scheduled to play the Wallabies twice in Australia and then move on to face the All Blacks in Dunedin – the 100th clash between the two sides – and Auckland. With New Zealand’s borders closing, the clash between the Boks and All Blacks was set to move to Perth.

There has been talk that the rest of the Rugby Championship could be hosted in South Africa – where the Springboks and Argentina are currently based or make the groundbreaking move to Europe.

Speaking after the Boks’ win over Argentina this past Saturday, centre Am said that the world champions are eager to complete their campaign, no matter where it takes place.

“It’s not just about New Zealand. We’re looking forward to each and every Test, so it would be really disappointing if the competition didn’t continue,” Am said.

“When you look at the rugby that we have been starved of over the past two years, being able to play for the green and gold was very special.

“As a team, we took off from where we left at the World Cup and we’re getting to where we want to be.

“It would be really disappointing if we didn’t get the opportunity to continue with the competition.”

Sanzaar is expected to provide more clarity on the situation on Monday, but the Springboks will remain in Port Elizabeth until Tuesday or Wednesday awaiting confirmation of their travel plans.

Photo: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

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Dylan Jack