SA Rugby and SuperSport announced on Friday that the broadcaster will show all 16 preparation fixtures live when the local rugby season kicks off next weekend.
As a result of the new deal, the fixtures have been amended. Eight local unions will each play four matches — two at home and two away — from Friday, February 26, until Sunday, March 28.
The series of warm-up encounters has been specifically designed by the Rugby Department of SA Rugby and the competing unions to meet teams’ high-performance needs against the landscape of the Covid-19 pandemic, and to prepare the players for the season ahead, according to SA Rugby.
Instead of weekly encounters, matches will be played in a 10-day cycle to manage Covid-19 testing protocols. The eight teams have been split into two groups. Pool A consists of the Bulls, Lions, Griquas and Cheetahs, while Pool B have the Sharks, Stormers, Pumas and Eastern Province.
Meanwhile, winger Madosh Tambwe has left the Sharks for the Bulls.
OPENING FIXTURES NEXT WEEKEND
(home teams named first)
Friday, February 26
7 pm: Lions v Pumas
Saturday, February 27
5.15 pm: Stormers v Cheetahs
Sunday, February 28
3 pm: Bulls v EP
5.15 pm: Sharks v Griquas