Neil Powell says despite feeling a stab of disappointment at the postponement of the Olympics, the Blitzboks will do whatever is needed to help curb the spread of Covid-19.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the International Olympic Committee have agreed to postpone the games until 2021.
In response to the announcement, which follows in the wake of the suspension of the last four World Sevens Series tournaments in Singapore, Hong Kong, London and Paris, Powell said the rescheduling of the Olympic Games serves as a reminder of the enormity of the coronavirus.
‘This is a reminder of the seriousness and the scale of the pandemic,’ said Powell. ‘We’ll do whatever is needed to play our part in curbing this pandemic and make sure we adhere to the requirements as set down by the national government.’
Following president Cyril Ramaphosa’s national address on Monday night, the Blitzboks will go into lockdown like the rest of the nation later this week and will reassemble for training again in the next month if all goes according to plan.
‘We are in constant consultation with SA Rugby leadership and all other relevant stakeholders, and will decide on the way forward following the completion of the lockdown,’ Powell explained.
World Rugby said in a statement they supported the prudent and necessary decision of the IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee to postpone the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
‘The health and safety of the athletes, fans, and everyone involved is our shared priority and responsibility and we believe the right decision has been taken in these very difficult and unprecedented circumstances,’ the statement read.
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