Mon. Oct 26th, 2020

The state of play in South African rugby: Currie Cup in the air

SA Rugby have yet to be given the green light to stage the Currie Cup from 28 August making the state of play in the sport rather uncertain.

the state of play in south african rugby currie cup in the air 1024x630 - The state of play in South African rugby: Currie Cup in the air

There has been no rugby played in South Africa since early March and even as the proposed date for the start of the Currie Cup creaps closer a return remains uncertain.

SA Rugby have yet to be given the green light to stage the oldest provincial championship in the world from the end of this month.

Currie Cup key for Springboks

The Currie Cup getting off the ground will be key to the Springboks participation in the Rugby Championship, but the Unions aren’t sure they will be given government permission to return to play.

Unions are waiting for SA Rugby to give them fixture lists, and continue to prepare for the season but the governing body are in limbo as they wait for the department of sport, arts and culture to approve their return plans.

Cricket South Africa were allowed to stage an exhibition match in June, with cricketers also returning to group training, while the Premier Soccer League will resume its season this weekend.

The Unions set to compete in the Currie Cup are eager to relay restart information to their numerous stakeholders including corporate partners.

Unions left on the line

Sharks chief executive Eduard Coetzee bemoaned being left hanging this week.

“There are a lot of stakeholders needing to know what is going on,” Coetzee said. 

“We would love to be sending out fixtures lists, for example, asap. Meanwhile, all we can do is prepare as best we can.

“We are just desperate to play.

“The young talent that we have is going to surprise a lot of people.”

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Aphelele Fassi during the Currie Cup match between the Sharks and Pumas at Jonsson Kings Park. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Sports minister provides no update

Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa gave an update to a media briefing on Monday but did not mention the plans to stage the Currie Cup.

Mthethwa would only confirm that the plans to restart the PSL had been approved.

“We have considered the return to play by contact sport, and are pleased the department of health has concurred with the proposal for football to return to completing this season in a safe environment,” Mthethwa said on Monday.

“The compliance officers in the SA Football Association (Safa) and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) will work together to ensure all measures comply with the commitment made by the PSL in their submissions to government.”

SA Rugby want the Currie Cup to kick off on 28 August with each Premier Division side set to face each other twice in a tournament that is set to run through until a proposed 12 December final.

The sport cannot restart without government approval for their plans though, and there has been no indication when this may be forthcoming.

Read: British and Irish Lions tour: Gatland in talks with Lancaster

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