CAPE TOWN – SA Rugby says World Rugby’s decision to recommend the postponement of the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup is disappointing for the Springbok Women’s team, but “understandable and sensible”.
World Rugby announced late on Tuesday that it had made the difficult decision to recommend the postponement of the Rugby World Cup, which was scheduled to be hosted in New Zealand between September 18 and October 19, until next year due to the evolution of “the uncertain and challenging global Covid-19 landscape”.
The recommendation will be considered by the Rugby World Cup Board and World Rugby Executive Committee early next week.
“I share Springbok Women’s coach Stanley Raubenheimer and the team’s disappointment, especially after all the hard work they have been putting in since last year in preparation for the tournament,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.
“But that said, the Rugby World Cup is the biggest stage in rugby and in order for such a tournament to live to up to its billing, it is essential that the correct structures are in place for all the teams to perform to the best of their abilities.
“Since this is not possible due to the challenges presented by the fluid nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, we understand the decision to recommend the postponement of the event.”
Raubenheimer adopted a logical view to the decision and said: “The key aspect is not that we are disappointed, it is the fact that that the health and safety of everyone concerned is more important.
“We really believe that it’s the right recommendation taking into account the best interest of the players and fans; certainly this decision has players at heart”
Interim World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin, on the difficult decision to recommend the postponement of Rugby World Cup 2021 pic.twitter.com/weUn1iXi98
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) March 2, 2021
“We would have been very disappointed if the Rugby World Cup was cancelled, but this is just a postponement of the tournament.”
SA Rugby High Performance Manager for Women’s rugby, Lynne Cantwell said: “While we are extremely disappointed in South Africa, we see the opportunity in allowing the Springbok Women more time to train and prepare in their present high performance set-up for the World Cup.”