Two South African United Rugby Championship (URC) derbies originally scheduled for February 2022 have been brought forward and will be played in Durban and Cape Town this weekend.
This follows the disruption that rocked the competition last week when all four matches in South Africa, due to be played against European opposition, were postponed as a result of the new Covid-19 variant.
With an international travel ban now in place, the decision has been taken for the South African franchises to resume competition this weekend.
The Sharks will host the Bulls at Kings Park on Friday night (19:00, SA time) before the Stormers host the Lions at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday (17:00, SA time).
“Our four teams have been hard at work and in conjunction with the tournament organisers, we’ve decided to bring forward two of the derbies originally scheduled for early in the new year,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
“Apart from providing our teams with much-needed game time, we are also trying to open up space in the calendar for a possible rescheduling of the matches that had been postponed this weekend.”
There was no indication what the plans are for next weekend, but there is every likelihood that we will see another round of local derbies take place.
Tournament organisers also provided an update on the two European teams - Munster and Cardiff - that remain in South Africa after the weekend's postponements.