Rassie Erasmus welcomes Springboks' escape of WADA sanctions

Rassie Erasmus welcomes Springboks' escape of WADA sanctions

SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has confirmed the Springboks will don their traditional green and gold in the wake of the South African Institute for Drug-free Sport's (SAIDS) challenge of the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) notice of noncompliance.

The Boks are gearing up for a crunch Rugby World Cup 2023 quarter-final against tournament hosts France scheduled for Sunday evening at 21:00.

The match will be broadcast LIVE on S3, with free streaming on the SABC + and sabcsport.com platforms from 20:00.

With WADA having threatened punitive measures over South Africa's outdated anti-doping laws, Minister of Sport, Arts, and Culture Zizi Kodwa had to move swiftly to bring the necessary amendments before parliament this week, ahead of the 14 October deadline.

READ: Manie Libbok and Jesse Kriel calm over World Cup fate

Failure to make the necessary provision, South African sports teams would have been unable to fly their flag, don the country's colours and sing the national anthem at any international events, including the ongoing RWC and Cricket World Cup in India.

But Erasmus confirmed all fears have since been abated following SAIDS appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) late on Tuesday, which subsequently suspended any impending sanctions against the country. 

"First thing is, even if it went the other way, obviously the ideal is the way it is going now that is suspended for a while, and we can concentrate on playing for South Africa," commented Erasmus in the lead up to the weekend's clash. 

"We can confirm we are also wearing our usual green and gold jersey. So, even if it went the other way, the boys are totally focused on the match. Whatever happened we knew we were going to represent South Africa, but it is good to hear it is, in a way, sorted out."

Meanwhile, the defending world champions have yet to announce their playing squad for Sunday's fixture, with coach Jacques Nienaber keeping his cards close to his chest after initially revealing his 23 players at least five days in advance during the earlier pool stage.

"We have been mixing and matching for the last year and making sure almost in every single position that we can have someone just as good, in some cases we are not even sure who is the best," stated Erasmus. 

"Keeping our options open for a seven-one, a six-two or a five-three [bench split], with both Handre [Pollard] and Manie [Libbok] being available. 

"There is nobody with an injury, Lukhanyo [Am] is fully fit. We sort of have made up our mind, but we're in between at this stage. Tomorrow, internally, we will confirm that. 

"I think, having everybody available and seeing what the French team [will] look like, that may have an influence on us going seven-one or a six-two."

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