The Springboks will kick off the season with a three-Test series against Wales in front of tens of thousands of spectators as the restriction on SA stadium attendance has been eased.
SA Rugby has welcomed the decision by President Cyril Ramaphosa to allow rugby venues to accept up to 50% capacity.
The change in the regulations means that the requirement that only 2,000 vaccinated fans would be allowed into venues has been relaxed, and includes those who return a negative test for the coronavirus.
✅ Breaking news! Crowd attendance at rugby matches increased to 50% of venue capacity
🗣️ “This is a major relief for our sport” – Mr Mark Alexander
🔗 More here: https://t.co/LDLdkNTrBi#StrongerTogether #StrongerForever pic.twitter.com/6VJ74695z9
— Springboks (@Springboks) March 22, 2022
It is immediately effective in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship and Currie Cup.
It has been more than two years since South Africa’s rugby venues were last able to host an unrestricted audience, but the revision in the existing regulations was welcomed by SA Rugby.
“This is a major relief for our sport,” said Saru president Mark Alexander. “These have been two incredibly tough years for our teams, and we are excited to welcome more people back into stadiums for all levels of the game, from the United Rugby Championship, and Currie Cup, to club level.
“We have seen in the response to the ticket launch of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town in September, that there is an appetite to share once again great rugby occasions with our friends and family.
“We have six Springbok Test matches to look forward to across the country from July and it will be great to see the Boks running out in front of a proper crowd in South Africa for the first time since 2019.
“We’re very grateful for the good news from President Cyril Ramaphosa [on Tuesday]. Rugby remains in ICU as we battle for sustainability but there is now a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.”
The series against Wales starts at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on 2 July.