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SA Rugby targeting August or even earlier to resume competitive action

09 June 2020 - 13:55 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux says the organisations has planned "meticulously".
SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux says the organisations has planned "meticulously".
Image: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

SA Rugby chief executive officer Jurie Roux has said that they are targeting August or even earlier to resume competitive action.

Roux said they are engaging government and have come up with a 500-page return-to-play manual that has been submitted to the department of sport.

“We believe we have a comprehensive and scientifically rigorous set of protocols to minimise the risk of transmission and allow a return to competitive rugby within the next two months‚” said Roux.

“We have planned meticulously for the moment and know we have the infrastructure and capacity within our professional playing environment to safely deliver those protocols.

"Rugby‚ and sport in general‚ is probably better placed than 90 percent of other businesses to return to normalised activities as fitness testing and wellness measurement in general are part our DNA.”

Roux also said that the probable loss of four months of the playing calendar would mean a re-working of the domestic calendar and a re-design of the Super Rugby competition and the kick off of the Currie Cup.

` “Obviously‚ the international travel ban means Super Rugby will undergo a re-design‚ as it has in New Zealand and Australia‚ but we are looking forward to its resumption‚” said Roux.

“There are a number of options and the postponed July tests could still take place here in October.

"Our northern hemisphere tour in November has not been cancelled and the possibility of playing the Rugby Championship in a single venue in ‘a bubble’ has also been workshopped.

“But those all remain unconfirmed and reliant on factors outside of our control. But we also have a few other ideas up our sleeve‚ which we’re quite excited about‚ and will announce if and when they become necessary.”

Roux said that South Africa like all nations are heavily involved with World Rugby in discussions around a re-working of the global calendar.

“The pandemic has had the side effect of wiping the slate clean when it comes to Test scheduling.

"It has created the necessity of finding solutions for exceptional circumstances in 2020 and re-opened questions about what works best from an audience and player welfare perspective.

“There are some very interesting ideas being discussed and SA Rugby would be keen to see this pandemic have some positive spin-offs in terms of realignment.

"We are working closely with our Sanzaar partners on what that might look like‚ but our current position is that we are well placed to head in any direction and open to all ideas.

"Like our partners‚ we have ruled nothing out.”