By Chairperson of South African Schools Rugby Association: Noel Ingle
The pandemic has created a truly unprecedented situation which affects all of us. We applaud the intentions of SA Rugby and our Associations to be flexible and to plan for all circumstances associated with the unknowns of the lockdown. SASRA too, have placed the safety of every child in South Africa above everything else as we reimagined the possible ways going forward.
Consequently, it is with deep regret that SASRA and SARU must inform our Associations and schools that all the 2020 Youth Weeks will not be played this year. Due to this the U18 international tournament is also suspended and will resume in 2021. The coronavirus has wreaked havoc with the 2020 school calendar. There will be no traditional June /July tournaments. SASRA and SARU will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds in the country. Different models will be investigated if there is any chance of rugby being played at inter-provincial level, including the sevens. This will require cooperation from all the associations and home unions.
No school sport may be played currently as indicated by the Department of Basic Education (DBE). The route that the National Government and the DBE takes in respect of schools will inform SASRA and SARU’s decision making on the way forward with both inter-school and inter-provincial rugby.
The high-performance department at SARU has sent out communication to all identified EPD players in the U16, U17 and U18 age groups. SASRA and SARU are encouraging associations to create their HP groups and are welcome to use the current programmes that SARU has sent to their identified players.
The pandemic reminds us that we are all connected. Despite the many difficulties that we are facing, we are called upon to be our best selves, with patience, tolerance and compassion.
On behalf of SASRA and SARU I wish you everything of the best.