Nearly a year ago, the Springboks won their third World Cup in Japan and since then haven’t played a single game. As a reason for their withdrawal, they cited government travel restrictions, player welfare, and safety concerns.
This means that the competition in Australia starting October 31 will be slashed from 12 games to only 6 games. These will only involve Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina.
The future of the defending champions in the Rugby Championship is under speculation following their pullout from the tournament. They also walked away from the southern hemisphere’s provincial-level Super Rugby last month in favor of Europe’s PRO14.
The withdrawal by South Africa was a hugely disappointing outcome for supporters and commercial partners.
“The ongoing impacts of the pandemic in multiple dimensions means we are unable to deliver a Springbok team without seriously compromising player welfare, apart from other logistical challenges,’’ South African Rugby Chief Jurie Roux said.
Covid-19 forced longer shut down in South Africa while New Zealand resumed rugby in June and Australia soon after that. And there are fears that the Springboks will not return to the pitch until mid-2021.
The Wallabies will face the All Blacks in Sydney Australia on October 31st 2020 to kick off the event. Then again on November 7 in Brisbane. Both teams will then take turns playing Argentina in subsequent weeks.
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