The George 7sPL tournament, due to be played at Outeniqua Park on December 14 and 15th, has been moved to January due to the countrywide week of mourning and Sunday’s funeral of Nelson Mandela, who passed away on Thursday.
Host union South Western Districts decided, in consultation with the South African Rugby Union and tournament promoter, Willem Strauss, to move the tournament to January, in order to respect the protocols surrounding the mourning period and out of respect for the passing of former president Mandela, their president, Hennie Baartman said on Saturday.
“We discussed the issue with all the role players and decided to move it to January. We understand, respect and agree to a request from government to sports bodies not to host any sports events next weekend. It is the right thing to do,” Baartman said.
Tournament promoter Willem Strauss said they will confirm the new date early next week, but that the tournament will in all likelihood be played the weekend of 10 and 11 January 2014.
“I want to thank all the sponsors, participating teams and other role players for their understanding and cooperation in this matter. It is much appreciated.”
Strauss said that an announcement about tickets bought already will also be made next week.
The tournament, now in its second year and with R1 million prize money, has attracted a number of high profile teams.
The line-up for January includes the famous Kaizer Chiefs and Unlimited Titans brands, private teams Living Ball, Eye of the Tiger Academy, Masakhane Old Boys, Samurai and the provincial teams of The Sharks, Western Province, SWD, Leopards, Blue Bulls and Cheetahs.