Nienaber on Rugby Champs: 'It would be nice to play at altitude'
REACTION: Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber said he would like the remainder of the Rugby Championship to be played on the Highveld.
During Saturday’s post-match press conference after the Boks beat Argentina 29-10 in Round Two, Nienaber said South Africa was ready to host the remainder of the tournament, as the competition’s organisers scramble for a venue for the rest of this year’s matches in the coming days.
The Boks have been told they cannot enter New Zealand for two Tests in late September due to COVID-19 travel restrictions there, while the All Blacks have said they will not travel to Perth to face Australia next weekend.
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) August 22, 2021
It has thrown the future of the competition into doubt, but Nienaber believes South Africa’s lessons from recently hosting the British & Irish Lions for an eight-match series, including three Tests, and Argentina for their opening two games of the Rugby Championships, means they have all protocols in place.
“We would love to host the Rugby Championship. I think it would be good for our country,” said Nienaber.
“We just came through a British and Irish Lions series, so South Africa showed that they can host a tournament in a pandemic.
“I think South Africa is ready – we got the protocols in place and we’ve got everything lined up, so we ready to host it.
“I would prefer to play in Johannesburg. It would be nice to play at altitude for us.
“We trained there because we were going to play the B&I Lions there in two Test matches, so it would be nice to play there.
“But wherever it is the safest, and where we can get continuity in the tournament, we will play. We will play anywhere.”
The win moved South Africa to the top of the Rugby Championship standings, four points ahead of the All Blacks.
@rugby365com & AAP