Rugby gets a lifeline in South Africa
NEWS: There was some good news for South Africa’s professional rugby players and teams.
South Africa’s Minister for Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa announced on Saturday that those involved in professional contact sport will be allowed to start training under the country’s Level Three lockdown regulations starting on Monday, 1 June.
However, no matches will be allowed.
The resumption of sporting activities will have to take place under strict conditions. Teams will also have test athletes before activities can resume.
“All sports bodies must within 14 days after the publication of these directions, inform the Minister in writing as to the date of resumption and further provide an operational guideline including a guarantee in the form of affidavits related to the testing of all officials,” said Mthethwa.
Meanwhile, non-contact professional sports can resume training and playing.
“This is the news sport has been waiting to hear as it allows us to begin to ramp up preparations for an eventual return-to-play,” said Jurie Roux, SA Rugby CEO.
“We submitted a comprehensive, staged return-to-play protocols document to the department five weeks ago and we are ready to begin medical screening of players immediately.
“We will seek further clarity from the department on the application of the guidelines as they apply to contact training.
“But this is an opportunity for our players to enhance their lockdown training regimes by increasing their fitness work for an eventual return to play.”
SA Rugby announced the suspension of all rugby on 18 March.