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Former Springbok demands full capacity stadium for URC final

By Stefan Frost
General view during the United Rugby Championship match between DHL Stormers and Edinburgh at DHL Stadium on June 04, 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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Former Springbok and current Cape Town deputy mayor Eddie Andrews has asked the government to allow full capacity crowds ahead of Saturday’s URC final between the Stormers and the Bulls at Cape Town Stadium.

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The Stormers reached the final after mounting a comeback against Ulster, tipping the Irish side 17-15 at the death, while the Bulls managed to frustrate reigning champions Leinster and grind out a tight 27-26 win in Dublin.

These former Super Rugby teams were only introduced into the URC this season but have already made an impact. However, restrictions in South Africa are still preventing full capacity attendances, meaning plenty of fans could miss the chance to see this historical final in-person.

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That is why Andrews took to Twitter earlier today to write an open letter to South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, demanding that all lockdown measures be lifted in Cape Town.

“The city of Cape Town is ready to be completely opened; no restrictions at our stadiums, events and cultural activities,” he said. “We have proven we can manage ourselves.

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“We are ready to allow 55,000 rugby loving supporters into Cape Town Stadium to support both the Stormers and the Bulls as they compete for the United Rugby Championship in our beloved city. The people of South Africa deserve to see in-person a SA team win the URC.”

Restrictions in South Africa have already hampered numerous events in the rugby calendar. All three of the British and Irish Lions tests against the Springboks last summer had to be played behind closed doors and even before then, Rassie Erasmus’ squad played no matches for over a year in the immediate aftermath of their World Cup win in 2019.

But it is not just sports teams that have suffered.

“Covid-19 has negatively impacted our economy. Businesses have closed, retrenched staff and shelved expansion plans. We need the injection. Our businesses need all the help they can get.”

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The Cape Town based Stormers already have home-field advantage heading into the final and their former prop Andrews believes the city is perfectly geared up to host one of the biggest events in club rugby.

“Cape Town as a preferred destination for national and international sports enthusiasts is ready and able to host the final at full capacity. The ball has been passed to you Mr President to catch and convert this opportunity that we have this coming Saturday.”

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