Scotland's summer tour of South Africa and New Zealand officially called off

World Rugby postpones all summer Tests

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend.

Scotland’s summer tour to South Africa and New Zealand has been called off.

The news hardly comes as a surprise and was confirmed by World Rugby in a statement which said that all international fixtures in July were off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Scotland were due to play two Tests against the 2019 World Cup winners South Africa, in Cape Town on 4 July and Durban on 11 July, before facing the All Blacks in Dunedin on 18 July.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend said: “It has been clear to our players, staff and supporters that the significant impact of Covid-19 across the world has meant international travel at this time was going to be very unlikely in the coming months and so it has proved.

“As a team we were generating some positive momentum in the Six Nations and we were all looking forward to the exciting challenge of playing the World Champions, and the All Blacks, on their home soil this summer.

“As a tour it would have provided an excellent learning experience, but we fully understand the reasons why it can’t go ahead.

“We wish the players, staff and families of both South Africa and New Zealand well at this difficult time and look forward to testing ourselves against them in the future.”

World Rugby issued a statement Friday saying the mid-year Test window will be rescheduled when cross-border travel and quarantine regulations are relaxed.

New Zealand had been scheduled to play Wales as well as Scotland, Australia were set to play Ireland and Fiji and South Africa had planned to host Scotland and Georgia. England were due to tour Japan.

World Rugby said the postponement is due “to ongoing government and health agency Covid-19 directives”.

“Extended travel and quarantine restrictions that apply to numerous countries and concerns over adequate player preparation time mean that any sort of cross-border international rugby competition cannot be hosted in July,” the governing body said.

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