Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby journalist
2 minute read
1 Sep 2020
3:35 pm

No bio-bubble, Saru confirms, as rugby prepares for a return to action

Rudolph Jacobs

While some information has been revealed, including a provisional schedule, SA Rugby is waiting for approval from stakeholders to confirm details about the domestic season.

The Cheetahs, seen here in action against the Sharks in last year's semifinals, are hoping to defend their title in the new-look Currie Cup. Picture: Gallo Images

There will be no bio-bubble in this year’s Currie Cup competition. As things stand, teams will possibly fly in and out of the respective venues on game day.

That is the word of Andy Colquhoun, Saru’s general manager of corporate affairs.

What it means is the seven teams that are set to feature in the new-look competition won’t have to go into a bio-friendly safe environment in one or two venues – as was previously thought necessary.

This scenario would also have been very costly, with some estimates at R100-million to host the teams in a bio-bubble.

“There will be no bio-bubble required,” Colquhoun said on Tuesday.

Indications are that the Currie Cup – involving the Bulls, Lions, Sharks, Stormers, Cheetahs, Pumas and Griquas – will kick off on October 10 and will run through the festive season with the final scheduled for January 16.

Matches will be played on December 26 and January 2 – ensuring a bumper festive season of rugby, something this country hasn’t experienced before.

SA Rugby confirmed that all teams will be allowed to return to full contact training once the health measurements and testing protocols have been adhered to.

There is, however, still no fixture list in place, while further details about the competition will be made known in due course, once there is approval from Government and the various stakeholder involved.

A pre-season ‘Super Hero day’ for September 26 at Loftus is also in the offing, with the Bulls set to take on the Sharks and the Stormers due to face the Lions in a double header.

The normal safety precautions will be in place from now until the end of the competition early next year and players will have to undergo regular Covid-19 testing before matches can go ahead.

Cheetahs chief executive Harold Verster said they will be prepared for any scenario when it comes to Currie Cup action next month.

“No dates or a fixture list has been finalized or approved by Saru so we will all have to wait for the final go-ahead to start preparing for such a competition,” he said.

But with the Currie Cup set to be contested over the summer months all teams will have to adapt their schedules accordingly which will have to include a lot of water breaks and regular testing. Night-time matches in the hotter areas will also likely be the order of the day.

“All I can say at this stage is that our coach Hawies Fourie is working around the clock with the squad to get them in their best possible shape when matches return in the near future,” said Verster about the Cheetahs boss and his current workload.

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