Springboks warm-up Tests for Lions series in trouble
The Springboks’ planned warm-up Tests ahead of the British and Irish Lions series has reportedly hit a snag.
According to Afrikaans publication Rapport, organising the Tests has become complicated due to Covid-19 quarantine requirements.
While the teams could meet quarantine requirements before the Tests, the problem comes afterwards when they have to return to their countries and players have to return to their clubs in Europe.
Most countries require two weeks in quarantine and that could cause a problem when players will need to join their clubs on time. The Test window this year only extends over three weeks.
According to Rapport, if those warm-up Tests cannot take place then there are plans for a match where the Springbok squad is divided into two teams and they will play against each other.
Meanwhile, Kwagga Smith, Willie le Roux, Malcolm Marx, Jesse Kriel and Franco Smith are the only Boks with contracts in Japan that were invited to attend a training camp in Bloemfontein. They were asked to report for duty on June 7.
Makazole Mapimpi is also currently in Japan, but he is only a loan player. He will soon return to the Sharks and join local players in camp.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber said that a number of players based in France, who are not involved in the Top 14 play-offs, will join the Japanese club players.
SA Rugby was forced to withdraw the Springboks from all international participation in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning the last time the Boks played was the Rugby World Cup final against England on 2 November 2019 in Japan.
After the Lions series, the Springboks have the Castle Lager Rugby Championship and the traditional end of the year tour to Europe.
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