Sanzaar has given SA Rugby until Friday to decide whether it’s sending the Springboks to Australia for the Rugby Championship or not.
The Springboks’ participation in the southern hemisphere's Championship was thrown in more doubt when the team’s departure for Australia was delayed for a further 48 hours.
Updating the situation, SA Rugby issued a statement that read: “SANZAAR announced overnight that following a chief executives’ teleconference call on Tuesday, October 13, the SANZAAR member unions have agreed to provide SA Rugby with an additional 48 hours to finalise its internal stakeholder discussions on participation.
“This will now delay the scheduled departure of the Springboks from South Africa to Australia. SANZAAR said it would provide an update on the resolution of these discussions and a timetable for the Springboks’ participation in The Rugby Championship when available in the coming days,” SA Rugby said.
The 2019 World Cup winners, South Africa is also the Rugby Championship’s defending champions, but the Springboks are yet to confirm their participation in this year’s tournament after new Springboks head coach, Jacques Nienaber, expressed concerns over the match fitness of his players, following a six month break enforced by Covid-19.
Nienaber said he would not want the Boks to compete in Tests unless the players he selects were involved in at least six matches, which is unlikely to happen as South Africa’s domestic rugby only returned to action two weeks ago.
This past weekend saw the Super Rugby Unlocked tournament kick off, while New Zealand and Australia have both already completed their respective Super Rugby tournaments and played their first Bledisloe Cup match against each other last Sunday.
The four-nation tournament - which features Argentina, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand - is scheduled to kick off from 31 October to 12 December, while the Springboks’ first Test is set to take place on 7 November when they face Argentina in Brisbane.