South Africa’s four Vodacom United Rugby Championship teams have been informed they won’t be able to host matches in the Republic despite the country being removed from the UK’s travel red list.
According to Rapport, the Bulls, Lions, Stormers and Sharks will play their scheduled home matches of this calendar year in Italy after URC chiefs determined that South Africa’s removal from the red list had come too late to alter plans for the teams to base themselves in Italy.
The four local sides are scheduled to host ‘home’ games in November, but because of South Africa’s inclusion on the red list, visiting European teams would previously have had to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days upon their return home.
That spurred on organisers to make the alternative arrangement of SA sides hosting home matches in Italy.
When South Africa was removed from the red list, the teams expected the original scheduling to go ahead, but it has now been revealed that URC bosses have decided to stick with Plan B – a call which is not sitting well with the SA sides.
The Stormers were supposed to play Italy side Zebre at Cape Town Stadium on 27 November, but will now play them in their own stadium in Parma instead.
That same weekend, the Bulls were supposed to host Munster at Loftus, the Scarlets were scheduled for for a trip to Durban and the Lions were set to welcome Cardiff at Ellis Park.
All those round six fixtures, as well as the round seven matches scheduled to take place in South Africa, will now go ahead in Italy.
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