• New target date as local action moves one step closer

    Jurie Roux has confirmed SA Rugby hopes to play its first domestic matches by early to mid-September, although the return to international competition is not yet permitted under the new regulations.

    On Thursday, the South African government gave rugby the green light to return to the playing field under certain conditions. It allows for a return to competitive action subject to compliance with measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

    READ: SA Rugby welcomes news on resumption of playing

    ‘At this stage, we hope to have our first matches by early to mid-September and our plans on the structure of the planned competition will be announced in due course, as we have various options to consider,’ Roux commented.

    The Vodacom Bulls, Lions, Sharks, Stormers, Cheetahs, Southern Kings, Griquas and Pumas all started with non-contact training a few weeks ago.

    The return to international competition is not permitted under the new regulations, but Roux said he understood the government’s need to phase any return to normality.

    ‘We know the World Rugby window for the Rugby Championship is only in November and December, so we’re hopeful that in due course the government will be in a position to further relax the restrictions,’ said Roux.

    ‘For now, it’s the most important thing is to ensure we get the action under way as we have many stakeholders, such as our broadcast partner, competition and team sponsors and our supporters, who are keen to see rugby again.’

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    Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

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    Craig Lewis