World XV game in doubt

The Springboks’ match against a World XV is set to be scrapped.

The fixture, arranged to provide funds to the SA Players Association (Sarpa), was supposed to be played on 2 December, following the Boks’ games against Ireland and England (two).

However, the Twickenham pitch needs re-seeding and will not be available for the World XV game. There are now plans to hold it at an English football stadium or at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on 9 December. Ideally, the World XV game would have taken place in Cardiff on the 2nd, but there is an ice-skating event already booked.

“[Playing on the 9th] would mean giving the Bok squad of 22 for the fixture a two-week holiday before having to assemble and play again. It is not ideal,” Sarpa chairman Piet Heymans told The Star on Friday.

Heymans has been criticised for arranging the fixture in the first place considering his views on player burnout. However, when an additional fixture means cash for his coffers, Heymans tune quickly changes.

“It will be really sad if this match falls through, because then we’ll have to ask SA Rugby for funds again and we don’t want to do that,” Heymans added.