The final round Currie Cup match between Western Province and the Sharks, which was scheduled to take place at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday, has been cancelled in line with Covid-19 protocols.

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A statement from SA Rugby reported that the decision was taken on Wednesday following a number of positive Covid-19 tests in the Sharks camp. As a result of the cancellation of the match, the encounter will be declared a draw and the teams will each receive two log points.

The other two Currie Cup matches scheduled for this weekend – between Griquas and Cheetahs in Kimberley on Saturday, and the Pumas against the Bulls in Nelspruit on Sunday – are unaffected.

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Western Province’s assistant coach Label Levy and full-back Damian Willemse

The cancellation of the match means Western Province – currently in second place on the Currie Cup standings with 35 points behind the Bulls who also have 35 points, but boast a superior points difference – will finish the pool stage of the competition on 37 points, and Sharks will move up to third place, also on 35 points.

The two coastal sides will have to wait for the conclusion of Wednesday’s Gauteng derby between the Bulls and Lions in Pretoria and the final two round-robin games this coming weekend to see who they will face the semi-finals and where these matches will be hosted.

In a week where there has been much commentary about the scheduled three-Test, eight-match Lions tour to South Africa next July, the Currie Cup match cancellation at Newlands was a reminder of the problem the pandemic is causing in the country. 

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Lions bosses admitted last weekend that contingency plans are being drawn up for the tour and one of the reported alternatives to staging the tour as planned in South Africa is to have the Springboks travel to the UK and Ireland and for the eagerly awaited Test series to be staged there.      

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