Makazole Mapimpi: ‘I’m envious of the New Zealand teams who have returned to action’

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Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2019 - Pool B - South Africa v Italy - Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Shizuoka, Japan - October 4, 2019. South Africa's Makazole Mapimpi celebrates scoring a try. REUTERS/Edgar Su

With Super Rugby Aotearoa in full swing and playing in front of packed stadiums in New Zealand‚ South African players can only sit and watch as their New Zealand counterparts get critical match-fitness under their belts.

With rugby classed as a contact sport‚ there’s little hope of a return to play in South Africa until at least level one.

Whether that happens in the short term remains to be seen as SA’s Covid-19 infections and death rates continue to rise.

Sharks wing Makazole Mapimpi said he watched enviously as New Zealand completed two rounds of their Super Rugby tournament. While there have been new recent infections in New Zealand‚ the country has been able to successfully curb the spread of the disease.

“I’ll be honest‚ I’m envious of the New Zealand teams who have returned to action. I miss rugby and I think we all do because we love the game and this is our livelihood‚” Mapimpi said.

“I love being on the field‚ but we have to understand what’s going on. When you love your job‚ you always want to be there.”