- Schools rugby will have to wait until February 8 for a return to training.
- This return to training and other activities will be based on Covid-19 infection rates.
- SA Rugby and the South African Schools Rugby Association will be keeping a sharp eye on infection rates.
Schools rugby, which was one of the first victims of Covid-19 last year with regards to postponements and cancellations, has seen all related activities suspended until 8 February.
In a meeting that took place on 12 January between the South African Rugby Union and the South African Schools Rugby Association where SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus was also in attendance, the decision was taken to suspend all activities, including training, based on the Covid-19 second wave and the risk it poses to the welfare of players
Other factors that led to the 8 February decision was the protection of the game of rugby, the lack of rugby and its impact on SA Rugby’s High Performance programme and the costly financial implications of Covid-19 testing in order for matches to take place.
SASRA chairman Noel Ingle confirmed that all schools rugby activities have been postponed until next month. According to the letter, SA Rugby will be aiding SA Rugby with the monitoring of Covid-19 transmission and infection rates during the suspension period and also when training and playing return.
Significantly, all affiliated regions will be informed with regards to a return to training when it has been established that the infection rate in all the provinces has returned to its previous status, “indicating that the second wave of the virus is under control.”
With regards to the return of training protocols, a two-phased approach of a four-week non-contact training period based on fitness and strength will be the first entry.
If it is permitted by the relevant bodies, the second four-week phase will consist of gradual integration of contact training.
Schools rugby, like most sporting industries, was hard hit by Covid-19 with the cancellation of the popular Easter Rugby Festivals and the youth provincial tournaments like Craven Week and Grant Khomo Week were also cancelled.