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SA Rugby investigates unsanctioned grassroots tournament that led to death of player

By Online Editors

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SA Rugby are investigating a breach of Covid-19 regulations during which a young rugby player from a club in Border tragically passed away after picking up a serious injury during a tournament match. The name of the deceased player is Vizicelo Sebenza Zondani and the incident happened at a tournament at Ngqwele Location near King William’s Town on Saturday, October 24.


“This is a tragic incident that should never have happened, and our hearts go out to the family, friends and team-mates of Vizicelo,” said Mark Alexander, SA Rugby president.

“Unfortunately, this goes directly against our Covid-19 guidelines around return to training, as all amateur rugby matches have been suspended for the year due to the pandemic and all our unions, clubs and other bodies know this.

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RugbyPass Rugby Explorer takes a trek through South Africa Rugby
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RugbyPass Rugby Explorer takes a trek through South Africa Rugby

“This tournament should never have taken place and we will launch a full investigation into the incident, as well as the tournament.”

The SA Rugby statement added: “SA Rugby again reiterated that their Covid-19 committee (CovCom) had approved a proposal to allow amateur clubs, universities, associate members and schools teams to return to training under certain strict conditions and that a return to play will not be permitted in 2020. No further comment will be made on the matter.”

In other South African rugby news, it was confirmed that following consultation with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the Super Rugby Unlocked match between the Lions and the Griquas can go ahead this Friday.


This follows last weekend’s Super Rugby Unlocked match between the Lions and the Cheetahs being called off in line with Covid-19 protocols.

The cancellation was triggered last Saturday morning following the receipt of results from a second batch of tests on the Lions senior squad playing and coaching personnel, which revealed two further positive cases. The tests had been prompted by the recording of four other positive tests among the same group earlier in the week.


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