South African teams to play RCU home matches at European venues
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Durban – The disadvantage South African teams face in the United Rugby Championship is expected to continue with confirmation that European teams will not play matches in South Africa until next year.
Instead, the first two rounds of home games for the South African teams against foreign opponents will be played at yet to be confirmed European venues, but likely in Italy.
This despite the removal of South Africa from the UK’s Red Flags for travel list, meaning UK teams would no longer need to self-isolate for 10 days upon their return home.
The last weekend in November and the first weekend in December, the Scarlets, Cardiff, Munster and Zebre were scheduled to play in South Africa.
There has always been a contingency plan in place – destinations in Italy are reserved for South African “home” matches – and this plan must be activated according to RCU general manager Martin Anayi.
“It’s good that they are off the red list and that will probably allow us to go to South Africa in the second half of the season (2022) and we will keep the games where they are in Europe for round six. and seven, ”Anayi said.
The Lions, Stormers, Sharks and Bulls conclude their four-game tour of Europe this weekend and will return to South Africa for about a month before returning to Europe to play two more home games before a league hiatus until January 2022.
South African teams have already had to undertake four-game tours instead of the usual two-week stays in PRO 14, and they have had to play without their South Africa-based Springboks.