South African rugby players warned about COVID-19 behaviour after Super Rugby Unlocked match cancelled

The Super Rugby Unlocked fixture between the Sharks and the Stormers at Jonsson Kings Park in Durban has been cancelled after players in the home team tested positive for COVID-19. Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images

South African rugby players and officials have been cautioned to practise strict COVID-compliance measures to minimise the risk of infection, after a third Super Rugby Unlocked fixture was cancelled.

The Sharks' match against the Stormers in Durban on Saturday was cancelled on Tuesday after a number of Sharks players returned positive tests.

Lions' matches against the Cheetahs and Pumas this season had previously been cancelled for the same reason.

"Players and management are urged to employ extreme caution in their social engagement," SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux said in a press release.

"It only takes one careless interaction by a single player to have the knock-on effect that impacts on 45 other players, team managements, the schedule and potentially the destination of the title.

"As fit young athletes it may be tempting to think that they are 'immune' to infection and are free of comorbidities that make them vulnerable. But a positive test for one of them can have massive repercussions.

"I trust that team managements will underline that message on a daily basis to their playing personnel."

The Bulls' match against the Pumas in Pretoria this weekend has been postponed from Friday to Saturday, Nov. 21 for player-welfare reasons.

The Pumas squad, which returned several positive tests last week, will be re-tested on Thursday.

The test results will be known on Friday, and the 24-hour postponement of the fixture against the Bulls will allow the Pumas time for a pre-game training session after 10 days in isolation.