South Africa will spend 11 days in France in October to avoid quarantine before three Tests in Britain, the organisers of the 2023 Rugby World Cup said on Thursday.
The World Cup-winning Springboks head to Wales on November 6, Scotland seven days later and England on November 20 and would have had to isolate for 10 days on arrival if they had travelled directly as South Africa is on the British government’s ‘red list’ of countries.
The Boks will take part in events and press conferences between October 20-31 to promote the competition.
“We have made an agreement with the (South African) federation to be able to benefit from the presence of the team and players to do some promotion for the 2023 Rugby World Cup,” the tournament’s director Claude Atcher told AFP.
An element of the Springboks involvement will include activities surround the World Cup’s “political idea of social and environmental responsibility,” Atcher added.
Flanker Siya Kolisi became South Africa’s first black Test captain in 2018 and led his country to the Webb Ellis trophy a year later.
On Thursday, French second-tier scrum-half Ludovic Radosavljevic was banned for 26 weeks for calling an opponent a ‘banana eater’.
Last week, Lyon’s France prop Demba Bamba suffered racist abuse on social media after an away defeat to Pau.
“What is currently happening has unfortunately proved that we’re not safe (from racism) and we had to address the issue to say that it’s totally inacceptbale and inappropriate in our sport,” Atcher said.
Kolisi’s side face New Zealand in the 100th Test between the sides this weekend before their last game in this year’s Rugby Championship the following Saturday also against the All Blacks.
The final nine fixtures of the 12-match tournament, which also includes the Wallabies and Argentina, have been moved to Australia due to Covid-19 travel issues.