United Rugby Championship

No blame game in overseas teams ditching SA URC games, says Stormers backline coach

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Stormers assistant coach Dawie Snyman. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
Stormers assistant coach Dawie Snyman. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
  • Stormers backline coach Dawie Snyman says the emergence of the Omicron variant made matters "tough" for visiting URC teams.
  • Cardiff, Munster, Scarlets and Zebre were the visiting teams who were scheduled to play South African teams for their Round 6 and 7 clashes.
  • The games had to be postponed, paving the way for local derbies initially scheduled for 2022 being brought forward to this weekend.

Stormers backline coach Dawie Snyman says there are no hard feelings between the various teams that up and left South Africa following the emergence of the Omicron Covid-19 variant in the country.

Cardiff, Munster, Scarlets and Zebre Parma were the visiting teams who were scheduled to play South African teams for their Round 6 and 7 clashes.

The announcement by the National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD) sent the games into disarray, with confirmation of the postponement being made SA Rugby on Friday.

To bridge the gap, local derbies initially scheduled for February 2022 will be brought forward to this weekend.

Snyman said there was no frustration with the way the matter was handled and how teams - bar Munster and Cardiff - rushed out of the country before much was known about the latest mutation. He also said he wasn’t bothered by playing a local team - again.

"It’s a tough one," said Snyman. 

"It’s out of our control, firstly and we didn’t know what the implications would have been for them [getting back into their countries] and the teams have other fixtures they have to play after these two rounds which they need to prepare for," said Snyman.

"We’re disappointed, not frustrated, but it’s not anyone’s fault. It’s just a bit sad we couldn’t play on South African soil."

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 30: Seabelo Sen
Seabelo Senatla during a Stormers training session. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

The Stormers have a fixture against Connacht in Ireland on 9 January and Snyman was asked if he thought they would be subjected to strict quarantine requirements on arrival.

"It’s really tough for us to predict what the situation will be in a week’s time so all we can do is mostly focus on every day; we are really lucky to have this game at the weekend so we will prepare as best as we can, [and] take steps after that once we know what we need to work towards," Snyman explained.

Kick-off at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday is at 17:00.

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