South Africa: End of an Era - Boks Out of Rugby Championship

analysis

SA Rugby formally confirmed the withdrawal of the Springboks from the 2020 Rugby Championship in the early hours of Friday morning.

The Rugby Championship, at least for 2020, is dead. Long live the Tri-Nations.

The Springboks' inevitable, but unfortunate, withdrawal from the Rugby Championships - due to concerns over player welfare because of their lack playing time through Covid-19 restrictions - meant that the tournament was rebranded overnight.

South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina Rugby (Sanzaar) have reverted to the original name, the Tri-Nations. That was the moniker of the tournament between 1996-2011, before Argentina joined in 2012. A new schedule has also been put in place.

For the Boks though, who have made it clear for weeks that they were unlikely to go because of a slew of issues, it is both a relief and a problem.

It's a relief because South African players simply aren't in a physical state to compete with the All Blacks and Wallabies after six months of lockdown. It's also a problem because it means the Boks won't play a Test in 2020 and it's unlikely they will find a window to play before the British & Irish Lions arrive for the 2021...

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