The second Test match between the Springboks v Georgia has been cancelled, SA Rugby confirmed in a statement on Wednesday, but the union also reiterated their commitment to ensuring the Test series against the British and Irish Lions continues.
The match against Georgia was scheduled for Friday night at Emirates Airline Park, but due to both camps returning positive Covid-19 tests, a review by the medical advisory group on Wednesday morning found the risk was simply too high for the fixture to continue.
So far, 16 cases have been recorded collectively within both squads – 12 amongst the Springboks, including within the management team, and a further four positives in Georgia’s teams. The statement did not reveal if there had been any further infections.
“In the context of the loss of life and economic damage that Covid and this third wave are wreaking, the cancellation of a rugby match is pretty trivial,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby in the statement.
“But it is still a major disappointment for the many stakeholders who have invested so much time, energy and resources into making these matches happen. I especially feel for the fans and players, and for our visitors from Georgia who travelled here at relatively short notice to take on the series, which has now been cut short.
“We’ve not been able to interact with them because of the bio-secure environments, but I’d like to thank them publicly for their support.
“We continue to plan for the Springboks’ re-emergence from isolation and the completion of the Test series but in the short-term we wish a speedy recovery for those who have been infected.”
The Springboks preparations will now switch its focus to a SA ‘A’ encounter against the tourists next week Wednesday at Cape Town Stadium. As such, the squad’s travel plans to Cape Town will also be reviewed so as to comply with the Covid-19 restrictions and regulations.