The Springboks are expected to officially withdraw from the Rugby Championship, the New Zealand Herald reports.
Earlier this week, Sanzaar gave SA Rugby a 48-hour deadline to confirm whether they would be sending a team to Australia, with an announcement expected on Friday.
However, according to respected New Zealand-based writer Liam Napier, ‘tournament organiser Sanzaar and hosts Rugby Australia are expected to confirm the withdrawal of the world champion Springboks, which will reduce the competition from a 12- to six-test event and necessitate the need for bye weekends’.
In terms of game time, there are a host of Springboks who are nowhere near the 400-plus minutes of play that the medical experts suggest is the ideal mark to mitigate injuries, and player welfare was always expected to be at the heart of any decision.
Beyond the dynamics of physical well-being to consider, there is of course the factor of mental welfare for players who would need to leave their families for two months, while also spending the first fortnight in hard quarantine before also having to isolate again when returning home.