Fri, 05 Jun 2020

A host of South African rugby stars remain stranded in Japan after their flights back home were cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world.

With Japan's Top League 2020 season now cancelled, players and coaches looked to book flights to South Africa ahead of this country's lockdown at midnight last Thursday.

Some were more fortunate than others.

Sport24 reported last week that several South African players and coaches were stuck at a Tokyo airport after Emirates had cancelled their flights.

However, of the group, Springbok Rugby World Cup stars Duane Vermeulen and Jesse Kriel were able to fly back in time after getting later flights - via Ethiopia - but others were not so lucky, including hooker Malcolm Marx, centre Damian de Allende and lock RG Snyman.

Flank Kwagga Smith managed to catch an earlier flight and arrived back in South Africa last Monday.

According to Rapport, 10 South African players arrived back in time for the lockdown - Vermeulen, Kriel, Smith, Rynier Bernardo, Reniel Hugo, Jan de Klerk, SP Marais, Clinton Swart, Kobus van Dyk and Carl Wegner.

Players still stranded in Japan are believed to include Marx, Snyman, De Allende, Matthys Basson, Lionel Cronje, Jean Droste and Jason Jenkins.

READ | Bok hero Vermeulen home safe after travel nightmare

Sign up for Osaka News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!