South African sport in chaos as new COVID variant threatens rugby, golf, cricket excursions

South African sport confronted a shutdown on Friday because of the detection of a brand new coronavirus variant, with British rugby groups scrambling to depart earlier than journey restrictions are imposed, and the primary occasion of golf’s new-look DP World Tour underneath menace.

4 rugby groups had been attributable to play South African opposition within the United Rugby Championship (URC) however Welsh golf equipment Cardiff and Scarlets mentioned they had been trying to depart, as Britain prepares to impose journey restrictions from 1200 GMT on Friday.

“With the scenario in South Africa having modified so rapidly, we are actually trying to repatriate our employees ASAP,” Cardiff mentioned on Twitter.

“For involved households and mates, please relaxation assured that our focus is to make sure the protection and welfare of our folks and can preserve you up to date with any developments.”

Scarlets mentioned they too had been attempting to depart as rapidly as attainable.

Officers advised Reuters on Friday that URC video games can be known as off, with an announcement anticipated later.

Cardiff had been attributable to play the Lions in Johannesburg on Sunday whereas the Scarlets are in Durban to face the Sharks on Saturday.

There was no phrase on the plans of Irish membership Munster, attributable to meet the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday, or Italy’s Zebre, in Cape City to tackle the Stormers.

They’re the primary golf equipment to reach in South Africa because the onset of the pandemic and the postponement of fixtures will come as a serious blow to the newly launched event involving sides from South Africa, Eire, Italy, Scotland and Wales.

The primary spherical of golf’s Joburg Open resumed at 6 a.m. (0400 GMT) on Friday after a thunderstorm introduced an early finish to play on Thursday.

The second spherical teed off at 7 a.m. however by then 15 British and Irish golfers had already withdrawn.

The occasion is the primary on the schedule of the DP World Tour, previously the European Tour.

On Friday, South Africa are to host the Netherlands within the first of a three-match One Day Worldwide cricket collection.

“At this stage of our planning and preparedness, we’ve got not learnt of any developments that relate to the influence of the brand new variant on the inbound internationals,” Cricket South Africa advised Reuters on Friday.

“Ought to there be modifications to this, CSA will problem an announcement and recommendation on any deliberate changes.”

South Africa are additionally set to host India subsequent month, with that tour anticipated to be a serious boon to Cricket South Africa’s coffers. India are attributable to play three checks over December and January adopted by a restricted overs collection.

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