Bok Women coach: We have more time to prepare

SA Rugby says although the postponement of the 2021 World Cup is disappointing for the Springbok Women’s team, it was understandable and sensible.

World Rugby announced late on Tuesday that it had made the difficult decision to recommend the postponement of the Rugby World Cup, which was scheduled to be hosted in New Zealand between 18 September and 16 October, until next year due to the evolution of ‘the uncertain and challenging global Covid-19 landscape’.

The recommendation will be considered by the Rugby World Cup board and World Rugby executive committee early next week and will in all likelihood be ratified.

It will come as a slight disappointment for the Springbok Women, who had booked their place in the tournament after winning their qualifiers against Uganda, Madagascar and Kenya.

Springbok Women’s coach Stanley Raubenheimer adopted a logical view to the decision.

‘The key aspect is not that we are disappointed, it is the fact that the health and safety of everyone concerned is more important,’ he said in a statement.

‘We would have been very disappointed if the Rugby World Cup was cancelled, but this is just a postponement of the tournament.

‘It is a now a question of realigning our goals and setting a new timeline for ourselves going forward. We cannot wait for the new dates to be announced so that we know how to prepare.

‘In terms of time, is might not be a bad thing for us because as I have said previously, time was the one thing we couldn’t get, but needed, and we will now have more time in our preparation for the World Cup.

‘This will give the players more time to play and really get to know what is expected of them from a physical and emotional perspective. I believe the right decision was made in the interests of everyone involved.’

The Springbok Women are in Pool C, alongside England, France and debutants Fiji.

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