Wakefield: Nothing official regarding Newlands departure

2018-06-19 09:56
Thelo Wakefield (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - While it appears inevitable that WP Rugby will move its headquarters from Newlands to Cape Town Stadium, an official announcement regarding the matter will not be made this week.

This assurance was given by WP Rugby president Thelo Wakefield.

Wakefield was responding after Afrikaans newspaper Rapport indicated on Sunday that that Newlands will close its doors, with the Cape Town Stadium becoming the new home of Test rugby in the Cape.

The report added that negotiations between the WP Rugby and the City of Cape Town about the union’s lease contract of the stadium were believed to be in the final stages.

The newspaper heard from “four credible sources” that both parties will make a formal announcement on the matter before Saturday’s third Test between South Africa and England.

Wakefield, however, told Netwerk24 on Monday: “We have to talk to the clubs before anything can be stated as a matter of fact. I report to the (union’s) head council and will at all times respect that ruling.”

Louw Visagie, acting CEO of the Cape Town Stadium, also responded: “If an agreement is signed with the WPRU, it must first be approved by the Cape Town Metro Council. That approval has not yet been given so we can’t get ahead of ourselves.”

In October last year, Wakefield did admit that WP would move to Cape Town Stadium in future.

He called it a "business decision".

"I know there are emotions involved, but in the end that does not pay the bills. It is inevitable that we move ... If our vision is to be the leading union in the world, we must also have world-class facilities," Wakefield was quoted as saying.

The Cape Town Stadium was built to stage matches at the 2010 Soccer World Cup and currently plays host to the South African leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series which takes place every December.

The Springboks tackle England in the final Test of their three-match series at Newlands on Saturday.

It will be the 55th Test contested at Newlands since 1891 when South Africa hosted the British Lions.

Read more on:    springboks  |  wp  |  thelo wakefield  |  cape town  |  rugby


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