SA rugby player dies after ‘serious’ injury during prohibited tournament

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SA Rugby is investigating a breach of COVID-19 regulations, after a young rugby player from a club in Border tragically passed away after picking up a serious injury during a tournament match that was never supposed to take place. 

The deceased player, who has been identified as Vizicelo Sebenza Zondani, lost his life after a tournament at Ngqwele Location near King William’s Town on Saturday 24 October 2020.   

‘TRAGIC INCIDENT THAT SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED’ – SA RUGBY

President of SA Rugby Mark Alexander said this is a tragic event that should never have happened. 

“Our hearts go out to the family, friends and team-mates of Vizicelo,” said Alexander. 

“Unfortunately, this goes directly against our COVID-19 guidelines around return to training, as all amateur rugby matches have been suspended for the year due to the pandemic and all our unions, clubs and other bodies know this,” he added. 

Alexander said the tournament should never have taken place, therefore, SA Rugby will launch a full investigation into the incident, as well as, the tournament.

“SA Rugby again reiterated that their COVID-19 Committee (CovCom) had approved a proposal to allow amateur clubs, universities, associate members and schools teams to return to training under certain strict conditions and that a return to play will not be permitted in 2020. No further comment will be made on the matter,” added Alexander. 

SPRINGBOK CENTER PASSES AWAY AT AGE OF 70 

While a young rugby player lost his life under suspicious circumstances, Springbok center Peter Cronje, 70, who dedicated many years to the sport, passed away early on Friday 4 September after a battle with cancer. 

SA Rugby paid tribute to the former Springbok in a statment which read; 

“Losing a member of our rugby family is never easy and I would like to pay our respects to Peter Cronje, who wore the green and gold with aplomb in the early 1970s,” said Alexander. 

“To his family, friends and former team-mates, I extend our condolences during this very difficult time. May you find solace in your memories of Peter, whose name will forever be etched in the history of South African rugby,” he added. 

As previously reported by The South African, Cronje played 15 matches for South Africa, between 1971 and 1974, including seven test matches and scored a total of five tries in the green and gold.

EMIRATES LIONS CLEARED TO HOST TAFEL LAGER GRIQAS

SA Rugby, on Wednesday 28 October 2020, confirmed that the Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked match between the Emirates Lions and the Tafel Lager Griquas can go ahead after consultations with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

This follows last weekend’s Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked match between Emirates Lions and Toyota Cheetahs being called off in line with COVID-19 protocols. The match is scheduled for Friday 30 October and kick-off at Emirates Airline Park is at 19:00.

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