The Currie Cup semifinals have been postponed to next week, the South Africa Rugby Union (Saru) announced over the weekend.
Following the cancellation of Saturday’s final round-robin clash between Western Province and the Sharks because of Covid-19, Saru decided to postpone the semifinals to allow more time for infected players to recover.
The coastal rivals were set to collide again at Newlands this week, but the semis will now be played next week with the final of the Currie Cup being moved from January 23 to January 30.
Saru director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus, explains: “The integrity of the Currie Cup was key in our discussions and the communication and co-operation between the four teams in the semifinals is appreciated.
“During the season teams affected by Covid-19 also had options to move their matches if they could agree on an alternative date – such as the recent clash between the Bulls and the Lions – even though it didn’t always materialise.
“We’ve agreed to move out the dates of the semifinals and the final by a week to give all the teams the best possible chance to be ready for their matches, bearing in mind we did not have the option to move it out by weeks.
“I would like to thank the semifinalists for their co-operation in ensuring that we can see the season play out the way it should – in spite of these challenging times – with a champion being crowned in the next few weeks.”
Saru’s statement adds: “Should a team not be able to participate in the semifinal because of Covid-19 infections, that team will forfeit the match and the opposing team will progress to the final.
“If neither team is able to compete, the side with the most log points at the conclusion of the pool stage will progress to the final. In the event of the final having to be postponed, an alternative date will be agreed between the teams.”
The Bulls will host the Lions in the other semifinal.