Coach John Dobson and his Stormers will kick off their preparation for the 2021 rugby season against the Cheetahs on Saturday, and not Sunday, as originally planned.
This after the South Africa Rugby Union (Saru) announced over the weekend that the “preparation series” will be broadcast live on SuperSport – leading to some changes in the schedule.
A statement released by Saru reads: “Eight local unions will each play four matches – two at home and two away – from Friday, 26 February until Sunday, 28 March.
“The series of warm-up encounters has been specifically designed by the Rugby Department of SA Rugby and the competing unions to meet teams’ high-performance needs against the landscape of the Covid-19 pandemic, and to prepare the players for the season ahead.
“Matches will be played on a 10-day cycle to manage Covid testing protocols. The eight teams have been split into two groups and will play cross-pool matches.”
Pool A consists of the Bulls, Lions, Griquas and Cheetahs and Pool B comprises the Sharks, Stormers, Pumas and Eastern Province.
Lions v Pumas (7pm)
Stormers v Cheetahs (5.15pm)
Bulls v Eastern Province (3pm)
Sharks v Griquas (5.15pm)
Cheetahs v Sharks (4.45pm)
Pumas v Bulls (7pm)
Eastern Province v Lions (4.45pm)
Griquas v Stormers (7pm)
Pumas v Cheetahs (4.45pm)
Bulls v Stormers (7pm)
Eastern Province v Griquas (2pm)
Lions v Sharks (4.15pm)
Sharks v Bulls (7pm)
Griquas v Pumas (3pm)
Stormers v Lions (5.15pm)
Cheetahs v Eastern Province (3pm)