Covid-19 disrupts South Africa’s domestic season

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With the British & Irish Lions due to tour next month, South African players are still falling victim to the virus.

A final round game in the Rainbox Cup, between the Stormers and Lions, scheduled for the weekend, has been called off due to an unspecified number of Lions players testing positive to Covid.

That denied the Stormers a chance to farewell star loose forward Pieter-Steph du Toit, who is joining up with the Toyota Verblitz in Japan, the side associated with former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

Du Toit, recovered from the leg injury that almost cost him his leg, is set to play against Georgia, the Lions, and in the Rugby Championship before taking up his Japanese contract.

Meanwhile, former Cheetahs tighthead prop Dougie Heymans, 48, has died from Covid-19.

The 154-game veteran was regarded as one of the toughest props in South Africa.

The Cheetahs announced his death in a statement.

"Dougie was an excellent player in a particularly difficult position to play in, tighthead. He gave numerous opponents on-field problems. He was unlucky never to have played for the Springboks," it said.

Heymans had been in intensive care for some time after contracting the virus.

After retiring, he moved into coaching and was assistant director of rugby for the Shimlas at the University of the Free State.

Former Springbok prop Os du Randt said Heymans was one of the toughest opponents he ever faced.


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