South Africa's URC matches to stay in Europe

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United Rugby Championship (URC) bosses will resist the temptation to play matches in South Africa in 2021 despite the country being taken off the UK travel red list.

URC had contingency plans to play home matches for South Africa sides in Europe in November and December.

Scarlets, Cardiff, Munster and Zebre were scheduled to be the first northern hemisphere sides in the URC to travel to South Africa at the end of the year.

They will play those games in Europe.

South Africa has this week been taken off the UK travel red list which means the Welsh teams would need to no longer have to quarantine for 10 days on their return.

Destinations in Italy were scheduled for the South African sides to travel to play their home games in that two-week period and those plans will be maintained.

This will mean there would be no URC matches played in South Africa until 2022.

URC chief executive Martin Anayi told Scrum V that South Africa coming off the red list would not "affect" plans already in place.

He added: "It's great that they're off [the red list] - it's likely that it'll allow us go back to South Africa in the second half of the season and we'll keep the games where they're going to be in Europe for rounds six and seven."

The South Africa sides Lions, Stormers, Sharks and Bulls are currently in Europe on four-week tours after starting their permanent positions in the URC.

They will return to South Africa for about a month before coming back to Europe to play two more home matches before a break in the league until January 2022.

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