• Waiting game nearly over for SA rugby

    Anticipation is growing for imminent confirmation of a ‘pre-season’ Super Hero Day at Loftus and an internal ‘North-South’ match in Cape Town to precede the Currie Cup, writes CRAIG LEWIS.

    It’s been a long and, at times, edgy wait for South African franchises to return to competition, with professional sides having recently begun contact training.

    The latest preparation has been with the prospect in mind for a ‘Marvel Superheroes’ double-header involving the four Super Rugby franchises.

    SARugbymag.co.za understands this is set to take place at Loftus, with the Stormers playing the Lions and the Sharks facing the Vodacom Bulls.

    Meanwhile, the Cheetahs will begin their preparations for the domestic tournament in a clash with Griquas next Saturday, while the Pumas are set to play against what’s likely to be a second-string Bulls side next week.

    Should all go according to plan, SA Rugby hopes to also confirm an internal exhibition match that will effectively serve as a Springboks trial. This is scheduled for 3 October in Cape Town.

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    It’s understood that while there were some in favour of a coastal vs inland clash, it’s more likely to be deemed a North-South match, with details around selection criteria expected to be revealed in the coming days.

    All in all, this is the blueprint SA Rugby is believed to have submitted for a ‘return to play’, more than six months since the game effectively went into lockdown due to the pandemic outbreak.

    If the green light is finally given, two weekends of ‘pre-season’ action will then be followed by the kick-off of a double-round local competition on 10 October.

    It’s understood that this week there should be an announcement around these proposed pre-season matches, along with details of the domestic tournament and the Boks’ plan for the rest of the year.

    READ: Hope grows for rugby’s return

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    Craig Lewis