SA Rugby president overjoyed with lifting of stadium restrictions: 'Life's back to normal'

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Loftus attracted almost 20 000 spectators last week. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)
Loftus attracted almost 20 000 spectators last week. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)
  • SA Rugby president Mark Alexander was more than pleased with the lifting of stadium attendance restrictions on Wednesday evening.
  • The lifting of Covid-19 restrictions governing the attendance of people at stadiums means the Boks have the potential to have full houses for theb Wales Test series.
  • The Springboks will be playing Wales at Loftus Versfeld next week, followed by a trip to Bloemfontein for the second Test and Cape Town for the third.

SA Rugby president Mark Alexander struggled to hide his delight after the Wednesday evening government gazetting that allowed stadiums to have full attendance again.

It may have come a week too late for the Stormers, who hosted a marvellous United Rugby Championship final against the Bulls last Saturday.

But for the Springboks, it comes just in time for the three-Test series against Wales that starts next week Saturday at Loftus Versfeld.

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That rugby caravan will then move to the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein and then finish off at the Cape Town Stadium.

Alexander said the emotional and financial aspect of having crowds back for matches can't be understated for all parties involved.

"It's important that the players play in front of the crowds because that is what and who they play for," Alexander said.

"Having crowds back is important for the unions because these Tests are hosted by them and it's a fund-raising exercise, so they can pay their players.

"It's very important that we have full attendance at our stadiums and have no masks. Life has returned to normal, but we must still take the necessary precautions."

Speaking at the Springbok meet and greet function in Pretoria on Thursday, Alexander said they still needed to remain cautious and responsible despite the total relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla gazetted the lifting of restrictions with regard to attendances at outdoor venues and the wearing of masks in indoor venues on Wednesday evening.  

"There will be savings for all the stakeholders involved, but that doesn't mean we should ignore the standing safety measures," Alexander said.

"We still want to be responsible. Covid is still there, but we do need to remain vigilant and responsible when we enter the stadium."

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