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'It's a frustrating period': Former Springbok finds silver lining amid coronavirus panic

(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

While the world comes to a standstill as the coronavirus outbreak wreaks havoc globally, a former Springboks halfback has found a silver lining amid all the chaos.


The indefinite suspension of Europe’s PRO14 has allowed Cheetahs and 88-test halfback Ruan Pienaar an extedned timeframe to recover from a back injury which has sidelined him in recent weeks.

“I have to consult with the back specialist on 3 April and I think there is enough time for my back to fully recover and get strong again. I think the only advantage in not playing rugby at the moment is that the players who are struggling with injury can fully recover for when play resumes,” Pienaar told Netwerk24.

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The 36-year-old sustained the injury in his team’s captain’s run ahead of their final tour match against the Dragons in Wales last month.

The Cheetahs eventually fell to the Newport-based club 13-10, leaving them in fourth spot of Conference A with six wins from 3 matches.

Pienaar and his teammates had their training halted last week as a result of the pandemic, and like the rest of the rugby world, the Bloemfontein side are unsure when they will return to action.

“Look, it’s a frustrating period, but we understand the circumstances. At this stage your health is of far greater importance than playing rugby, no matter how much we’d like to play,” Pienaar said.


PRO14 officials cancelled this season’s final earlier this month, which was scheduled to have taken place in Cardiff on June 20.

Similar action has been taken with competitions worldwide, as Super Rugby, the Premiership, Top 14, Champions Cup and Challenge Cup have all be suspended for various periods of time.

Elsewhere, Major League Rugby in North America and the Top League in Japan have both cancelled their respective seasons.

World Rugby has also postponed two of its key events this years, with the remaining tournaments on the World Sevens Series and the U20 World Championships in Italy set for re-scheduling.


Additionally, the International Olympic Committee has postponed the Tokyo Olympics by a year, meaning Fiji and Australia will have to wait until next July to defend their men’s and women’s rugby sevens titles.

In other news:

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