SA Rugby hopes to start domestic competition on 5 June

Sharks celebrate... (Gallo Images)
Sharks celebrate... (Gallo Images)

In a best-case scenario, SA Rugby is hoping to have the country’s professional players back on the playing field by 5 June.

All rugby is currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic but the country's rugby bosses have been hard at work behind the scenes to formulate plans for the year ahead.

According to Afrikaans newspaper Rapport, a radically changed rugby calendar has been formulated for when the sport gets the go-ahead from government to continue.

The report added that in a worst-case scenario - where all rugby is cancelled for the remainder of the year - it could cost SA Rugby up to R200 milllion.  

The governing body's plan was relayed to players via video conferencing with players organisation MyPlayers this past week.

Should the game get the green light to go ahead, the following plan has been formulated:

- A two-month long tournament starting on 5 June featuring South Africa's four Super Rugby teams (Sharks, Stormers, Bulls and Lions) and two PRO14 outfits (Cheetahs and Southern Kings).

- The Rugby Championship will be played in August and September, with the SuperSport Rugby Challenge and Currie Cup also starting in this period.

- The Springboks' two Tests against Scotland, initially scheduled for 4 and 11 July, will take place in October, with the 18 July Test against Georgia scrapped.

- The Springboks' year-end European tour - where they are due to face Italy (7 November), Ireland (14 November), France (21 November) and Wales (28 November) - will go ahead.

This obviously means that Super Rugby will not be completed, with South Africa Australia, New Zealand and Argentina all likely to contest their own domestic competitions.

When Super Rugby was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, South Africa's Sharks headed the table with six wins from seven matches.

The Stormers were seventh with four wins from six matches, while the Bulls and Lions were 12th and 13th respectively with just one win apiece.

The PRO14, which also features teams from Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Italy, is also likely to be scrapped. The Cheetahs were fourth in Conference A with six wins from 13 matches, while the Kings were at the bottom of Conference B with a solitary win from 13 encounters.

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- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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