Springboks dilemma prompts radical Rugby Championship rethink

Australian Associated Press
·2-min read
Siya Kolisi (pictured right) looks on from the bench during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Final.
SANZAAR are looking at back up options after giving South Africa a 48 hour deadline. (Getty Images)

SANZAAR has given the world champion Springboks a 48-hour deadline to resolve their internal issues and confirm their participation in the Rugby Championship.

The four-nation tournament, which also includes Australia, New Zealand and Argentina, will be held exclusively in Australia this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Speculation has been rife that South Africa won't compete over ongoing concerns about the Springboks' lack of preparation, with their players only just resuming domestic Super Rugby after a six-month layoff because of coronavirus.

Rugby South Africa said last weekend that "several hurdles" needed to be cleared before they could confirm the Springboks' inclusion and that they hoped to make a decision early this week.

While there is mixed reports to whether the world champions will compete in the Rugby Championship, potential to pocket $25 million for participating has some experts believing the Springboks will take part.

"The SANZAAR member unions have agreed to provide South Africa Rugby with an additional 48 hours to finalise its internal stakeholder discussions," SANZAAR said in a statement on Wednesday.

"This will now delay the scheduled departure of the Springboks from South Africa to Australia.

"SANZAAR will provide an update on the resolution of these discussions and a timetable for the Springboks participation in the Rugby Championship when available in the coming days."

Australia and New Zealand will open the tournament with their third Bledisloe Cup clash of the year on October 31 in Sydney.

South Africa are scheduled to play Argentina in their tournament opener in Brisbane on November 7, but that draw will likely need to be revised due to the Springboks' delayed arrival in Australia and quarantine requirements.

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