South Africa

Fans now want Rugby Championship expansion

Having withdrawn from this season’s Australia-based competition due to concerns surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, fears rose that that could spell an end to the four-team competition, with the Springboks favouring a potentially seismic move to the northern hemisphere and the Six Nations.

Those fears have obviously been allayed and after the news was announced by SANZAAR, there have now called for the Rugby Championship tournament to welcome new additions – with Japan and Fiji being the most discussed.

South Africa commits long-term future to Rugby Championship

There were fears the Springboks, who aren’t participating in this year’s tournament due to the affects of COVID-19, would link up with northern hemisphere nations.

The tournament is currently being played in Australia but as a Tri-Nations involving Australia, New Zealand and Argentina.

However, SANZAAR announced on Wednesday South Africa were on board for 2021 and beyond.

The championship will be restructured to include a 12-match format with teams playing each other on a home and away basis.

Springboks pull out of Rugby Championship

RNZ has been told that the South Africans have decided they won't take part in the tournament in Australia.

The Springboks have cited player welfare and the need for government approval as sticking points in taking part in the competition.

The South Africans had to leave for Australia this weekend to fulfil their quarantine requirements in time.

South Africa's withdrawal means that the other three teams will share a bye each week of the tournament.

Springboks may withdraw from The Rugby Championship

South African Rugby are set to announce whether or not they will participate in the seven-week tournament in Australia, starting later this month with a Test between the Wallabies and All Blacks.

Many of the Argentine players have already arrived in Australia but there are ongoing concerns about the Springboks’ lack of preparation, with their players only just resuming Super Rugby after a six month delay due to COVID-19.

The Springboks haven’t played together since winning the World Cup final against England in Japan last November.

No surprise South Africa off to Europe - NZR

The South African board has voted to pull its four remaining teams from Super Rugby with chief executive laying the blame squarely with the New Zealand union.

South African rugby CEO Jourie Roux maintains they wouldn't have made the decision had New Zealand Rugby not decided to proceed with a domestic or trans-Tasman competition and they had been presented with a "unilateral decision by the New Zealand Rugby Union to proceed with a domestic or trans-Tasman competition.

South Africa votes to leave Super Rugby

In a widely expected move, a Special General Meeting of the South African Rugby Union has decided in favour of entering the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers into an expanded PRO14, and effectively ending franchise competition against sides from Australia, New Zealand and Argentina.

The lucrative European television market, and more favourable time zones and travel logistics, are behind the move, with the Cheetahs and Southern Kings having played in the PRO14 since 2017.

'World's oldest man' dies aged 116 in South Africa

Fredie Blom's identity documents showed he was born in Eastern Cape province in May 1904, although that was never verified by Guinness World Records.

When he was teenager, his entire family was wiped out by the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. He went on to survive two world wars and apartheid.

Blom told the BBC in 2018 that there was no special secret to his longevity.

"There's only one thing - it's the man above [God]. He's got all the power. I have nothing. I can drop over any time but He holds me," he said.

South Africa bans alcohol sales again to combat Covid-19

A night-time curfew has been imposed, and the wearing of masks outdoors is now compulsory.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said the alcohol ban - South Africa's second this year - would take pressure off the national healthcare system.

It comes as total infections exceed a quarter of a million.

Deaths resulting from coronavirus have also risen to more than 4,000, and government projections estimate this could rise to 50,000 by the end of the year.

World Champion Springboks set to return to the field sooner rather than later

Pollard’s French side Montpellier announced on Saturday they will emerge from the coronavirus lockdown and restart training on June 2.

Pollard’s outfit follows fellow Springbok Eben Etzebeth’s Toulon, who will conduct medical tests on their squad members next Wednesday.

“After more than two months of lockdown, the time has come for the players and coaches to get back to the GGL Stadium,” Pollard’s outfit said.

SA Rugby unveils crisis plan aimed at saving upwards of R1billion

The home of the 2019 World Cup winners has accepted they are in a fight for survival following the stoppage of rugby around the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic and an industry financial impact plan (IFIP) has been formulated to help guide them through turbulent times. 

In a statement, SA Rugby outlined that the country’s rugby industry has agreed in principle a wide-ranging plan to cut between R700m to R1b from its budget.