South Africa

Springboks pull out of Rugby Championship

RNZ has been told that the South Africans have decided they won't take part in the tournament in Australia.

The Springboks have cited player welfare and the need for government approval as sticking points in taking part in the competition.

The South Africans had to leave for Australia this weekend to fulfil their quarantine requirements in time.

South Africa's withdrawal means that the other three teams will share a bye each week of the tournament.

Springboks may withdraw from The Rugby Championship

South African Rugby are set to announce whether or not they will participate in the seven-week tournament in Australia, starting later this month with a Test between the Wallabies and All Blacks.

Many of the Argentine players have already arrived in Australia but there are ongoing concerns about the Springboks’ lack of preparation, with their players only just resuming Super Rugby after a six month delay due to COVID-19.

The Springboks haven’t played together since winning the World Cup final against England in Japan last November.

No surprise South Africa off to Europe - NZR

The South African board has voted to pull its four remaining teams from Super Rugby with chief executive laying the blame squarely with the New Zealand union.

South African rugby CEO Jourie Roux maintains they wouldn't have made the decision had New Zealand Rugby not decided to proceed with a domestic or trans-Tasman competition and they had been presented with a "unilateral decision by the New Zealand Rugby Union to proceed with a domestic or trans-Tasman competition.

South Africa votes to leave Super Rugby

In a widely expected move, a Special General Meeting of the South African Rugby Union has decided in favour of entering the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers into an expanded PRO14, and effectively ending franchise competition against sides from Australia, New Zealand and Argentina.

The lucrative European television market, and more favourable time zones and travel logistics, are behind the move, with the Cheetahs and Southern Kings having played in the PRO14 since 2017.

'World's oldest man' dies aged 116 in South Africa

Fredie Blom's identity documents showed he was born in Eastern Cape province in May 1904, although that was never verified by Guinness World Records.

When he was teenager, his entire family was wiped out by the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. He went on to survive two world wars and apartheid.

Blom told the BBC in 2018 that there was no special secret to his longevity.

"There's only one thing - it's the man above [God]. He's got all the power. I have nothing. I can drop over any time but He holds me," he said.

South Africa bans alcohol sales again to combat Covid-19

A night-time curfew has been imposed, and the wearing of masks outdoors is now compulsory.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said the alcohol ban - South Africa's second this year - would take pressure off the national healthcare system.

It comes as total infections exceed a quarter of a million.

Deaths resulting from coronavirus have also risen to more than 4,000, and government projections estimate this could rise to 50,000 by the end of the year.

World Champion Springboks set to return to the field sooner rather than later

Pollard’s French side Montpellier announced on Saturday they will emerge from the coronavirus lockdown and restart training on June 2.

Pollard’s outfit follows fellow Springbok Eben Etzebeth’s Toulon, who will conduct medical tests on their squad members next Wednesday.

“After more than two months of lockdown, the time has come for the players and coaches to get back to the GGL Stadium,” Pollard’s outfit said.

SA Rugby unveils crisis plan aimed at saving upwards of R1billion

The home of the 2019 World Cup winners has accepted they are in a fight for survival following the stoppage of rugby around the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic and an industry financial impact plan (IFIP) has been formulated to help guide them through turbulent times. 

In a statement, SA Rugby outlined that the country’s rugby industry has agreed in principle a wide-ranging plan to cut between R700m to R1b from its budget.

England dominant in fourth Test

After bowling the hosts out for 183, Mark Wood claiming a five-for, England opted against enforcing the follow-on and instead built on their 217-run first-innings advantage.

Captain Joe Root led the way with a 58, his wicket bringing the tourists' fun to an end as Faf du Plessis took a stunning one-handed catch to give Beuran Hendricks 5-64 on his Test debut.

That afforded the Proteas some joy on an otherwise frustrating day and they will return on Monday needing to complete a world-record chase to avoid a 3-1 series defeat.

Rooty at The Wanderers 

Anderson glad to be back

After struggling to make an impact in the series opener at Centurion, a game the Proteas won by 107 runs, Anderson has been back to his best in Cape Town, claiming the 28th five-wicket haul of his distinguished Test career.

The Lancashire seamer picked up the final two wickets in South Africa's first innings on the third morning to finish with 5-40, in the process securing his side a useful 46-run lead as they came out to bat again.