Cheetahs v Bulls called off
NEWS: The Currie Cup match between the Cheetahs and Bulls, scheduled for Bloemfontein on Wednesday, has been cancelled in line with COVID-19 protocols.
Furthermore, due to the latest national COVID regulations announced on Sunday, the match between Western Province and the Sharks at Cape Town Stadium will kick off at 17.00 on Wednesday, not 19.00.
The decision to cancel the Bloemfontein game was prompted by positive tests in the Cheetahs team, and they have informed SA Rugby that they are not able to field a team with enough front row cover in such a short time frame, which puts player welfare at risk.
As determined by the competition rules, the Bulls will be awarded four log points because of the cancellation and the result will be noted as 0-0.
Cheetahs released a statement that read: “Injuries and a number of players and coaching staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 have forced the Cheetahs to cancel their planned match against the Bulls on Wednesday.
“The decision was taken in accordance with a directive from SA Rugby (SARU) and protocols for COVID-19. It is impossible to reschedule the match because of the tight fixtures programme. In terms of the rules, the Bulls will receive four points and the Cheetahs none.
“A total of 21 players in the Cheetah squad are not available. Eleven players are in isolation or part of the return-to-play protocol. Seven are injured and three players are away on national duty. Four members of the coaching staff are in isolation. Injuries amongst junior players rule them out.
“As a result, the Cheetahs have only twenty players available. The obligatory four props are also not available,”
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Harold Verster, Managing Director of the Free State Cheetahs, says the recent match between the Cheetahs and Griquas have also affected Griquas because of contact with a COVID-19 positive Cheetah player. “It is sad and regrettable, but something that is out of our hands. We sincerely hope that our neighbouring province will have a full-strength team available on Saturday.”
“The Cheetahs would have loved to play and were ready until late on Monday. In the end we had no choice but to cancel the match. It was the right and responsible thing to do, especially given the importance of the health of the players and the forthcoming test series between the Springboks and the British and Irish Lions.”
Cheetahs will play their next match on July 9 against the Pumas.