Rugby returns in South Africa after 6-month shutout

Top-level rugby returned in South Africa on Saturday with two exhibition games involving the country’s Super Rugby teams following a six-month shutout because of the coronavirus pandemic.

There were no fans for the doubleheader at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, the out-of-practice teams were allowed to use 15 replacements, and the games stopped midway through each half for water breaks.

Field-side coaching staff wore masks and, in some cases, face shields and medical aprons in a country with more than 660,000 recorded cases of the virus.

The Bulls beat the…

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