CEO Jurie Roux says SA Rugby is still not in a position to confirm plans for the Springboks, but the wish remains for the world champions to play this year.
On Wednesday, SA Rugby officially announced its plans to reignite a four-month local season that will kick off on 26 September with a double-header at Loftus.
As reported by SARugbymag.co.za on Tuesday, local action will resume next weekend when the Vodacom Bulls take on the Sharks, and the Lions battle the Stormers on ‘Vodacom Super Fan Saturday’.
This will be followed by what is being called the ‘Springbok Showdown’, effectively a set of national trials to be played on 3 October, which will precede the start of a double-round local competition, between seven franchises, which will kick off on the weekend of 10 October.
‘This is a very exciting plan for the next few months, considering all the challenges we’ve faced this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and it will be great to see our best local rugby heroes battle it out from October to January,’ said Roux.
‘We’ve worked very hard with government, SuperSport, our various sponsors and the franchises to get to this point and it’s great to know we can now look forward to brilliant provincial rugby being played in the next couple of months.
‘Unfortunately, spectators won’t be allowed inside the stadiums as we are still working with certain Covid-19 regulations.’
Roux added that plans for the Springboks to play the Rugby Championship in Australia were still being pursued but were dependent on international travel and other governmental restrictions as well as player wellness and high-performance considerations.
‘We’re still not in a position to confirm plans for the Springboks, but it remains our wish that they play Tests this year,’ said Roux.
‘It would not only be great to see the Rugby World Cup champions in action, but it would also give the Bok management valuable preparation for next year’s tour of the British & Irish Lions.’