Doubt cast on South Africa’s northern tour

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The Springboks have been in bubbles since June, ahead of their hosting of the British & Irish Lions tour.

 

After their 31-29 win over the All Blacks that ended the Rugby Championship on the Gold Coast on Saturday, South Africa's players headed home before heading to France for a camp ahead of their northern tour.

 

They are to play Wales on November 6, Scotland on November 13 and England on November 20.

 

South Africa is on Britain's 'red list' of countries, although it hopes to be removed from the list soon.

 

South Africa sits 17th in the world for Covid-19 cases with 2.91million cases and 87,753 deaths. Britain has had 7.87million cases, the fourth highest in the world, and 137,000 deaths.

 

South Africa Rugby's president Mark Alexander hopes a solution can be found with the British government.

 

"Another strict bio-bubble is out of the question, it will break the players," he told South African newspaper Die Burger.

 

 

The players could not endure another set of restrictions, he said. They had already had extended periods confined to their hotels, a high number of Covid tests and limited movement.

 

No8 Duane Vermeulen said after Saturday's win, people didn't understand what the players had to go through to play.

 

"It's difficult. People say it is your job and whatever, and we don't listen to the public's opinion, but, it's not as easy as people think," he said.

 

"Our first two weeks [in Australia], we were in hard lockdown, we couldn't do anything. We had no support in the hotel. You had to do all the things on your own, make your bed, clean your room, and it's a whole different set-up.

 

"And then, once you are out of quarantine, it's a whole different thing as well. You have got to keep on adjusting to what is thrown at us, and sometimes it is difficult. But, at the end, we got it all together and walk away with a win at the end of the tour.

 

"It's good vibes and good energy now and, hopefully, we can take that positive energy going into the end-of-year tour.

 

"We only have two weeks off back home, and then we go on another five or six-week tour.

 

"It's difficult, it's a whole different set-up and with Covid, it makes it more difficult, but the team is in a good mental state at the moment and, hopefully, we can take that going into the end of the year," he said.

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