• Round-up: Headlines that caught the eye

    We take a look at some of the attention-grabbing headlines doing the rounds in rugby circles, including reports that the Pro14 could welcome more SA teams.

    Pro14 set for shake-up?

    For some time, rumours have swirled to suggest that more South African sides could head north to join the Pro14.

    In the midst of the pandemic, many competitions have come under review, and it’s no surprise that the Pro14 continues to explore the option of expansion.

    According to Rapport on Sunday, though, if the Vodacom Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers all opted to join the European tournament, the Cheetahs and Kings could in fact stand to lose their places.

    Plenty of discussions and different options continue to be considered, while the future of Vodacom Super Rugby would certainly influence any consideration for South Africa to switch allegiances to another competition altogether.

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    First SA player returns positive test

    The Cheetahs have confirmed one of their newly-contracted players has tested positive for Covid-19.

    It’s the first South African player to test positive, and the unnamed new recruit is said to be self-isolating, having not yet come in contact with any of the other Cheetahs players upon arrival.

    Chiliboy Ralepelle maintains innocence

    Once again, Chiliboy Ralepelle has reiterated there were procedural issues before and after the testing process that saw him return a positive finding and subsequently receive an eight-year ban.

    The former Bok hooker has stated he will appeal the ban.

    ‘I don’t argue about what they found in my blood. If that’s what they got, that’s it. They found it in both samples,’ he told journalist Brenden Nel in an article with Rapport.

    ‘My defence is that if I do not have protection from the moment I gave the sample until it is received at the laboratory, how do I know that the samples were not tampered with?’