Springboks dilemma prompts radical Rugby Championship rethink

  • Springboks dilemma prompts radical Rugby Championship rethink

Springboks dilemma prompts radical Rugby Championship rethink

This applies to Munster and their World Cup-winning centre Damian De Allende who would have missed a number of games for the southern province because of the Rugby Championship.

The Springboks were expected to take part in the Southern Hemisphere's premier global competition between October 31 and December 5 alongside Australia, New Zealand and Argentina.

World Cup champions the Springboks have been withdrawn from the Rugby Championship in Australia, citing player welfare concerns.

South Africa were included with Australia, Argentina and New Zealand in the fixtures, but the organisers admitted last month that there were doubts about their participation.

Player welfare is a genuine concern for South Africa with their domestic competition, Super Rugby Unlocked, only restarting on October 10.

Competitive rugby resumed in South Africa only last weekend after a six-month suspension triggered by Covid-19.

South Africa are also thought to have found complications getting leading players out of Europe with the coronavirus re-emergence and the cost of underwriting club insurance heightening risk.

But Plumtree hoped the Boks would be seen in this part of the world at some time, even if they weren't able to take a full part in the championship. For them to come down here, if they don't feel like they're ready, they're not going to put that on the line.

Earlier in the week, Sanzaar gave SA Rugby a 48-hour deadline to confirm whether they would be sending a team to Australia for the tournament, but according to reports in Australasia, the Springboks will officially withdraw from the Rugby Championship this week.

"While we are trying everything we can to make it possible, there are difficulties. I don't know what the decision will be around it, but they'll want to play - it's just when".

New Zealand and Australia have, by contrast, already completed their Super Rugby competitions and played a Bledisloe Cup test in Wellington last weekend, drawing 16-16.

The Springboks could now go 20 months, from their World Cup triumph in Tokyo last November to next July, without playing an worldwide fixture. They can now rest easy that their star players will not have to travel to compete in the middle of the season.