Few Crusaders fans able to travel

    2017-08-01 12:43

    Cape Town - A change in visa regulations has thwarted some Crusaders fans' hopes of attending the Super Rugby final in Johannesburg on Saturday.

    According to the Stuff website, due to a 20-year visa-free travel arrangement between South Africa and New Zealand having ended, Kiwis now require a three-month holiday visa to visit the country.

    The South African government have introduced the visa changes in a tit-for-tat response to similar measures introduced by New Zealand.

    Travelling fans are not the only ones to suffer.

    The Crusaders, who required a replacement for Kieran Read after he broke his thumb in Bloemfontein earlier in the year, surprisingly called-up little-known back rower Dylan Nel.

    Coach Scott Robertson explained it was because Nel, who holds a South African passport, didn't have to go through the rigmarole of applying for a visa and could leave Christchurch immediately.

    An error on the visa for Chiefs midfielder Alex Nankivell resulted in him being turned away from South Africa prior to the quarter-final against the Stormers in Cape Town a fortnight ago.

    His visa was dated to expire on 31/06/2017, while the rest of the squad's was stamped 31/08/2017.

    "It was a clerical error from Wellington and there was absolutely no flexibility from the South African border and they said he had to be sent back to the port that he came back from, which was Sydney," Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said at the time.

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