SA Rugby has confirmed the cancellation of a number of events and continued contingency planning for others in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic it was announced on Tuesday, following extensive consultation between members of the local rugby industry.
“These are unprecedented times, not only for rugby in South Africa, but across all spheres of life all over the globe,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
“Unfortunately, we had to make some very tough calls in terms of our local competitions, but we have the buy-in and support from the local franchises and unions, SAREO, MyPlayers and our broadcaster, SuperSport, in this regard.
“The decision to cancel certain competitions and tournaments is in line with what has been happening across various sporting codes all over the world – we are not shielded from this in South Africa.
“In terms of other teams’ participation in certain competitions, and the hosting of other tournaments, we are currently on a return to train and play readiness plan, but this is dependent on Government advice and decisions as the pandemic evolves.”
The tournaments which are still part of the planning for 2020, are:
• Local franchise and union competition planned for June to August as alternative to Vodacom Super Rugby and Guinness PRO14
• Currie Cup Premier and First Divisions
• Provincial U21 Competition
• SuperSport Rugby Challenge
• Women’s Inter-Provincial competition
• International matches involving the Springboks Men’s & Women’s teams
• HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series involving the Blitzboks
Furthermore, the participation of the SA Rugby Sevens Academy and Springbok Women’s Sevens teams will be evaluated as international borders reopen and new dates are received for the World Series Qualifiers for 2020.
The following tournaments and competitions have been cancelled for 2020:
• All SA Rugby Youth Weeks
• SA Rugby Provincial U13 and U17 Sevens
• SA Schools U18 Competition
• SA Rugby Provincial U19 Week
• SA Rugby Provincial U20 Competition
• SA Rugby Provincial Sevens Competition
All club and community rugby is still postponed until further notice and SA Rugby reiterated its plea to all clubs, teams, players and coaches to adhere to the lockdown rules.