It's Official: No Youth Weeks
On the afternoon of Tuesday, 21 April 2020, South African Rugby announced officially that all youth weeks for 2020 have been cancelled.
This includes the South African Schools August competition with England, Wales, France and Argentina.
Of course, South African rugby regrets this but like sports bodies round the world and in fact governments around the world it must do the best it possibly can for its people – their health and wellbeing.
In this professional era, when television money plays such a huge role in sport, sporting bodies have to do the best they can to help the players that depend on this money, for no play equals no television income and no money for the sport’s employees, including its contracted players.
These are indeed tough times. But SARU’s message is not without hope.
SARU’s announcement records the cancellation of the following:
The following tournaments and competitions have been cancelled for 2020:
* All SA Rugby Youth Weeks
* SA Rugby Provincial Under-13 and Under-17 Sevens
* SA Schools Under-18 Competition
* SA Rugby Provincial Under-19 Week
* SA Rugby Provincial Under-20 Competition
* SA Rugby Provincial Sevens Competition
The Youth Weeks cancelled are Under-18 Craven Week, Under-18 Academy Week, Under-18 LSEN Craven Week, Under-16 Grant Khomo Week, Girls Under-18 Week, Girls Under-16 Week and Under-13 Craven Week.
Then there are the two SA Schools teams, chosen after Craven Week, that will fall by the wayside.
Should there be rugby at all later this year, it may be possible – edication authorities permitting – to select provincial schools teams of players who would have been to Craven Week, and give them the chance to play curtainraisers to senior competitions, like the Currie Cup and First Division matches, and even Test matches.
SARU has not given up hope that the following competitions will still be able to happen in some form:
* 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 Under-21 Competition
* SuperSport Rugby Challenge
* Women’s Inter-Provincial competition
* International matches involving the Springboks Men’s & Women’s teams
* World Rugby Sevens Series involving the Blitzboks