SA Rugby given 48 hours to make a decision on the Boks' participation this year's Rugby Championship

14 October 2020 - 12:06
By Liam Del Carme
SA Rugby president Mark Alexander.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix SA Rugby president Mark Alexander.

SA Rugby has until Thursday to determine whether the Springboks will contest this year's Rugby Championship (RC) in Australia.

Sanzaar announced overnight that “following a chief executives’ teleconference call on Tuesday‚ the Sanzaar member unions have agreed to provide SA Rugby with an additional 48 hours to finalise its internal stakeholder discussions on participation. This will now delay the scheduled departure of the Springboks from South Africa to Australia.”

Sanzaar said it would provide an update on the resolution of these discussions and a timetable for the Springboks' participation in the competition when available in the coming days.

The extension comes after SA Rugby initially indicated they need to get the green light to travel by October 10 before announcing that a decision was due in the early part of this week.

SA Rugby had been awaiting clarification from government who last last week lifted some travel restrictions and permitted local athletes to travel abroad‚ but this may not pertain to locally-based teams.

The amended regulation reads: “only individuals who have an employment contract with a team outside the Republic may be permitted to leave the Republic in accordance with the Directions issued by the Minister of Home Affairs.”

Until the regulation is clarified the team will not travel.

Opinion seems to be divided about whether the Springboks‚ who are the reigning Rugby Championship champions‚ should be travelling to Australia.

Compared to Australia and New Zealand‚ they would have had very little time to prepare for the tournament set to be contested between November 7 and December 12.

Player welfare has been cited as a reason they should skip this tournament‚ while the world's top ranked team and current Rugby World Cup holders could also avoid reputational damage should they opt out.