Rugby is finally set to return in South Africa after the South African Rugby Union (Saru) announced a blockbuster calendar for the coming months.
Amongst the most exciting of the announcement of the return of rugby in the country under alert level 1 is the upcoming inter Springbok squad match which will feature a 60 player squad being cut down into two 25 man squads via a draft system.
Springbok assistant coaches Mzwandile Stick and Deon Davids will take charge of the two sides which will be Springbok Green vs Springbok Gold. Rassie Erasmus (director of rugby) and Jacques Nienaber (Springbok coach) will act as the two team commissioners.
Each coach will have a chance to pick their 25 man squad in a ‘school yard’ draft fashion with the match scheduled for 3 October 2020.
Erasmus said the match will “will not only be an opportunity to see the best of the best available in South Africa square off against each other in what promises to be something never seen before, but it will also provide the players with another valuable opportunity to shake of the rust and get the legs and lungs going after not playing any rugby in the last six months.”
South African fans will have rugby to look forward to sooner than 3 October however, with Loftus Versfeld double-header lined up for 26 September which will see Bulls take on the Sharks before the Lions face the Stormers during what has been coined ‘Super Fan Saturday!’
Following the Springbok exhibition match, a double-round local competition will take place running throughout the Christmas period and into late January with the final scheduled for 23 January 2021.
The Springboks are due to take part in the 2020 Rugby Championship later this year although SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said that they were not yet in a position to confirm their participation.
“We’re still not in a position to confirm plans for the Springboks, but it remains our wish that they play Tests this year,” said Roux.
“It would not only be great to see the Rugby World Cup champions in action, but it would also give the Bok management valuable preparation for next year’s tour of the British & Irish Lions.”