Scheduling for the Vodacom United Rugby Championship up to Round 17 has been completed with adjustments made to cater for postponed and rescheduled fixtures, organisers announced on Monday.
The Round 10 fixtures involving South African teams, due to take place in Ireland and Italy on the weekend of 7/8 January, have been rescheduled to the final weekend of February, to avoid further rescheduling in the immediate calendar.
The postponed fixtures from Rounds Six and Seven (that were due to take place in South Africa at the end of November/beginning of December) will now be moved to the weekends of March 11/12 and March 18/19. More details about these fixtures will be confirmed after further discussions with key stakeholders involved are completed.
Several South African derbies have also been adjusted to accommodate the revised schedule.
In a statement, organisers said they were fully committed to playing all games as scheduled but would ensure that the welfare of teams and players came first.
The statement said: “The league is greatly encouraged by the decision of the UK government to ease travel restrictions with respect to South Africa and will continue to comply with directions set out by the health authorities and government departments in our various jurisdictions.
“The URC Medical Advisory Group will continue to provide regular guidance and updates to our Clubs regarding best practice and health and safety measures in relation to Covid-19 protocols.
“The dates and kick-off times for Round 18 will be confirmed next month after consultation with our broadcast partners who have been of a great assistance during this process.”