- Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick has given reassurance that Covid-19 protocols are watertight for this weekend’s Springbok Showdown at Newlands.
- Stick has been forced to reshuffle his Team Green for the exhibition match after Oupa Mohoje tested positive for the virus.
- National hooker Bongi Mbonambi hails the week’s setup as one that “keeps everyone safe.”
Mzwandile Stick, national assistant and coach of Team Green for this weekend’s Springbok showdown, has reiterated that SA Rugby’s Covid-19 protocols are watertight and strictly enforced.
The 35-year-old had to reshuffle his combination for the exhibition match at Newlands after the federation confirmed that Cheetahs stalwart Oupa Mohoje, included in his squad following last week’s draft, had tested positive for the virus.
Mohoje, capped 19 times at international level, is asymptomatic though, while his great mate Trevor Nyakane, who was in close contact, has also been withdrawn as a precaution.
“We all understand that Covid-19 is out there,” Stick said on Wednesday.
“Once again, with all the protocols in place and government guidance, we’ve tried our utmost to keep everyone safe, especially the first three days. SA Rugby even gave us a presentation about all the relevant protocols we need to adhere to.
“It’s unfortunate for Oupa but, to be honest, it’s also heartening that no-one else returned positive results after we were tested before the week started. We’re doing everything we can to comply.”
As an additional safety measure, none of the players in the camp are sharing rooms.
Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi noted that social distancing has been paramount in the players’ daily activities.
“Things are very strict,” he said.
“Whenever we have a session in a meeting room, everyone sits at least two metres apart. Everyone’s given a mask and sanitiser bottles. You sanitise before you climb onto the bus, you make sure every ball you use during training is sanitised. The protocols are very clear.”
Consequently, Mbonambi feels more than secure in the current team environment.
“I must say, the level of vigilance is comforting. The medical staff are really playing their part and the players follow suit. It’s unfortunate for Oupa but the way things are set up here keeps everyone safe.”
15 Gianni Lombard, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche
Substitutes: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Juarno Augustus, 21 Junior Pokomela, 22 Embrose Papier, 23 Manie Libbok, 24 Jeremy Ward, 25 Kade Wolhuter
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Rosko Specman, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Nizaam Carr, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Dylan Richardson, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Carlü Sadie, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 James Venter, 21 Vincent Tshituka, 22 Ivan van Zyl, 23 Curwin Bosch, 24 Werner Kok, 25 Manuel Rass