South Africa will not play in the Ruby Championship this year. SANZAAR, the governing body, has announced a new schedule without the Springboks after SA Rugby decided not to send a team to the bio-bubble in Australia.

SA Rugby cited player welfare as their main concern, as well as logistical issues. Australia and New Zealand have both already started playing test rugby, while South Africa’s local competition has only just started.

“The disappointing thing was that they couldn’t get their Currie Cup going quick enough, so the longer that got delayed, the harder it was always going to be for them to get match hardened and match ready. So I guess that was one of the major contributing factors in making that decision. They just didn’t have the time. And obviously they’re the World Champions as well, so to come down here, if they’re not ready they’re not going to put that on the line,” says All Backs assistance coach John Plumtree.