South Africa to host United Rugby Championship games in round 6 and 7

South Africa was removed from UK's 'red' travel list.
South Africa was removed from UK's 'red' travel list.

The organisers of the United Rugby Championship have announced that the tournament will be heading to South Africa for the sixth and seven rounds.

The decision follows after South Africa was removed from the red travel list of UK last week which meant the players need not quarantine for 10 days upon their return from the country.

This means DHL Stormers, Emirates Lions, Vodacom Bulls and Cell C Sharks, who have been playing their games in Europe since the tournament's start will have home matches for the round six and seven.

The opening game of the South Africa leg will be Stormers hosting Zebre at DHL Stadium in Cape Town on 27th November.

"This is a brilliant result, not only for the South African teams but for the league which now gets to make a tangible impression in this rugby heartland early in the season," said United Rugby Championship CEO Martin Anayi.

"Huge credit must go to the South African government, SA Rugby and the leadership figures within our clubs for managing to push through and provide reassurances for these fixtures to be played at their home venues in such a short space of time.

"Up until late last week, it look like a very tall order for this to occur, but now everyone in the league has been bolstered by this news and we will harness that enthusiasm to get ready for some real blockbuster fixtures in Rounds 6 & 7.”

A maximum of 2,000 spectators will be allowed in guidance with the new regulations announced by the Minister for Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa.

“Along with our four franchises, we are thrilled with the news. Planning to play our teams’ ‘home games’ in Europe was a necessary step in light of the chaos caused by the pandemic, but we are really grateful that we’ve progressed to a stage where we can now welcome our friends from the northern hemisphere back to South Africa," said chief executive of South Africa Rugby Jurie Roux.

“Combined with the news earlier in the week that limited spectators will be allowed into stadiums, we can now start planning for matches in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town with fans in attendance. It’s a big step in the right direction.”