Cardiff will need ‘convincing’ to return to South Africa

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Cardiff are unsure as to whether it remains a viable prospect for them to return to South Africa this season for their rearranged United Rugby Championship clashes, according to director of rugby Dai Young.

The Welsh region had their two URC games postponed and were left stranded in South Africa after the Omicron coronavirus variant was discovered.

They had three attempts to return to the United Kingdom aborted before the majority of the squad finally left on December 3, a week after the matches were called off.

Although the league has confirmed its fixture list up until Round 17, which sees Cardiff play those encounters on the final two weekends of the Six Nations, Young wants assurances from the powers that be.

Onus on the URC

“We’ll take a bit of convincing, to be quite honest,” he said. “The onus is on the URC, really, to convince us that it’s the right thing to do.

“I know they’ve come out and made a statement that we’re [potentially] going back there, but first and foremost we’d need guarantees that if something did happen, we’d get out of there.

“The British government showed their hand and the Welsh government showed their hand. We were pretty much stranded out there.

“It was very difficult for us to get out of the country. Once is probably bad luck, twice is a bit stupid really, isn’t it.”

Cardiff captain Josh Turnbull echoed Young’s comments, adding: “As players, we want assurances that there’s going to be things in place that are going to look after us.

“It’s important the players and staff aren’t hung out to dry basically, like it felt we were when we were out there before.

“What’s important is the URC get clarity on what happens and there’s assurances in place that we can get out there with a safe passage.

“Ultimately, we want to play the games against the best teams but we also want to know that players and staff are going to be safe as well.”

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