News24.com | Cheetahs coach wary of playing rugby in hot summer months

Hawies Fourie. (Photo by Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images)

Hawies Fourie. (Photo by Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images)

  • Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie is wary at the prospect of playing rugby over the summer months.
  • SA Rugby is set to announce a domestic competition, starting in October, and spanning well into the New Year.
  • Fourie says matches should be played at night when conditions are cooler.

Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie says special care should be taken during South Africa’s upcoming domestic competition expected to take place over the summer months.

Seven franchises – the Bulls, Lions, Sharks, Stormers, Cheetahs, Pumas and Griquas – are expected to compete in a domestic competition starting in October.

There are talks of matches taking place over the festive period in December and January and Fourie has voiced his concerns over matches played in sweltering heat.

In an interview with The Citizen, Fourie said it would be wise to stage matches in the evenings.

“This is the time of the year when it’s hot everywhere, from Bloemfontein to Johannesburg to Kimberley, but especially Durban,” Fourie said.

“In Durban, with the humidity, the ball becomes like a piece of soap, so I imagine games will kick off at 7pm and 9pm to play it safe.”

Fourie recalled an incident involving former Springbok and Cheetahs loose-forward Juan Smith, which underlined the danger of playing in hot conditions.

In 2010, Smith played for the Cheetahs against the Reds in 35-degree conditions in Bloemfontein and passed out due to heat exhaustion in the changing room afterwards.

“Since that day in 2010 steps were taken that games played in such warm conditions shouldn’t commence before 4pm,” Fourie added.

The country’s franchises were given the green light to commence contact training earlier this week and the expectation is that the seven teams will contest a double-round Currie Cup starting next month.  

The Southern Kings already indicated they will take no further part in the season due to financial constraints.

– Compiled by Sport24 staff

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