SARU CEO Jurie Roux confirmed during an online media briefing that during 2020 South Africa will only play in an eight-team local senior competition and a five-team local u/21 competition. No clubs or university games will be played for the rest of the year.
Roux said that the plans are for an eight-team domestic competition, starting at the end of August or the beginning of September. The Bulls, Lions, Cheetahs, Sharks, Griquas, Kings, Western Province and the Pumas were announced earlier as the teams to compete in this domestic competition.
The five u/21 teams to compete will be the four Super Rugby franchises, Lions Bulls, Western Province, Sharks as well as the Cheetahs.
The matches will take place at either the home stadiums of the eight participating teams or in bio-bubble. Johannesburg was previously announced as the destination of choice if a bio-bubble, however, Johannesburg's status as the city of choice is under discussion taking the current Covid19 infections into account.
“We are busy negotiating with the government on two scenarios,” Roux said. A final decision will hopefully be made on the preferred stadium by the end of next week.
The expected date to return is still 29 August 2021 or at the latest the second week in September which will allow the unions to compete in a local competition of sorts.
Roux said it is vital to get the players back on the field to prepare the Springboks if an international campaign materialise.