June 15, 2020
South Africa is so proud of what the Springboks have achieved by clinching the 2019 Rugby World Cup title. Since COVID-19 has caused a decrease in SA Rugby, any good news about them since the implementation of the lockdown is most welcome.
The lockdown has affected all levels of society. It has been a challenging time for South African national sports. All the Springboks and Super Rugby teams involved in all contact sports competitions stopped playing since 18 March 2020 due to the novel Coronavirus.
The Southern Hemisphere club competition was postponed by World Rugby, with a rescheduling of the entire mid-year period planned for some future dates. Furthermore, the matches against Scotland and Georgia, scheduled to take place in July 2020, were also postponed. This would have been the national team’s first game since conquering the World Cup.
Minister Nathi Mthethwa announced a gradual lifting of restrictions around professional contact sport. From 1 June 2020, all contact-sport teams, including the Springboks, are to resume training. However, this depends on the implementation of protocols to mitigate all risks caused by COVID-19.
SA Rugby has welcomed the move. The issue that needs to be resolved before resuming training is how safety protocols will be enforced. Jurie Roux, the CEO of SA Rugby, indicated that the rugby organisation has submitted a protocol where the return to playing is staged. On the other hand, non-contact professional sports have been released to start training and playing again.
The protocol is a comprehensive document that describes the different stages of returning to training. One of the requirements is that all players have to undergo medical screening. The organisation will request further clarification from the Department on how the guidelines apply to contact training.
All professional teams have been given 14 days to provide comprehensive plans on their protocols. Once approved, the teams may return to training.
When the lockdown ends, the Springboks must be fit and ready to play rugby under normal conditions. Fitness and all the benefits derived from training does not happen overnight but require a lengthy period.2
SA Rugby wants play to resume again soon, in order to generate some funds. New Zealand and Australia have planned competitions too.1 Springbok salary cuts ranging from 25 – 43% will be implemented in June 2020 to try and save up to R70 million.
No sport may be played in designated ‘hotspots,’ where the virus infection rates are high. Unfortunately, these include most of the major cities, such as Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth.
When the Springboks do start playing again, you wouldn’t want to miss out watching a game. This means taking your car to the match. Even if your car is insured, why not check what PMD has to offer in terms of car insurance?