Darry Worthington takes a look at the rugby news that has made the headlines over the past week.
While COVID-19 has put a hold to all rugby fixtures around the globe, there’s still a lot of rugby news doing the rounds at the moment. This week’s big a return to the playing field in New Zealand, Australian’s thinking outside the box and the Blue Bulls on the verge of making a monstrous signing.
Image copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Super Rugby Aotearoa Gets Start Date
It looks like New Zealand will be the first country to host a game of Rugby Union since COVID-19 put a pause on the 2020 season. It was announced this morning that Super Rugby Aotearoa will get underway on Saturday the 13th of June.
The competition will pit the five New Zealand franchises up against each other over 10 rounds, with the tournament set to end on Sunday the 16th of August.
The news will be music to rugby fans ears.
Rugby Australia Goes NFL
Australian Rugby is in desperate need of a shake-up and it seems the new faces in the ARU boardroom are well aware of this and have taken a leaf out of the NFL’s playbook by hosting a Rugby Combine event.
These types of events are extremely popular in the United States. They see athletes compete against each other in specific challenges like races over 40 metres, who’s got the longest pass and kicking challenges. They usually take place a week before the start of a tournament, and with Australia’s domestic Super Rugby competition set to kick-off on the 4th of July, we could well see this event take place in late June.
This could be exactly the type of event that gets the Australian public behind rugby again. Don’t be surprised to see it become popular in both South Africa and New Zealand in the coming years as well.
Bulls Set to Sign Wonderkind
The Bulls have been making transfer ever since Jake White was announced as Director of Rugby and the Pretoria-based side is once again in the news. They are said to be close to capturing the signature of teenage prodigy Jan Hendrik Wessels.
The Grey College old boy, who is just 19-years-old, has been plying his trade in France with Clermont. It seems he will be returning to South African shores next year and is tipped to link up with the Bulls.
There’s no doubt he’ll be a Springbok legend one day, and if the Bulls manage to lure him to Loftus then they will have pulled off a massive coup.