Former South Africa hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle has been given an eight-year ban after testing positive for a banned substance. 

The 33-year-old tested positive for the anabolic agent Zeranol in an out-of-competition sample taken in January 2019. 

Ralepelle, who also failed tests in 2010 and 2014 - the first was ruled a 'no-fault' case and he received a reprimand, challenged the latest charge, but the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) has banned the player until 2027. 

The ex-Sharks, Bulls and Toulouse forward, who won 25 caps for the Springboks, has three weeks to lodge an appeal.  

A statement from SAIDS sent to Stats Perform News read: "The Independent Doping Tribunal Panel handed down its decision in two parts this week on the doping charge against former Springbok and Sharks rugby player, Mahlatse 'Chiliboy' Ralepelle.  

"The player tested positive for the banned anabolic agent Zeranol during an out-of-competition test on January 17, 2019. 

"The athlete challenged the doping charge and was afforded the opportunity to seek legal counsel to present his case and version of events to the tribunal panel. The hearings were adjourned multiple times and were held over a period of six months. The panel reached a decision first on the merits of the case where they found the player guilty of a doping offence. 

"Ralepelle had previously tested positive on two separate occasions while playing overseas. The Zeranol positive case was his third positive dope test during his playing career within a 10-year period, however the player's first positive case was ruled a 'No Fault' decision and he then received a reprimand. 

"The panel had to refer to sports jurisprudence to determine the appropriate sanction which they ruled to be the player's second doping offence. 

"The Independent Doping Tribunal Panel ruled that Mr Ralepelle must serve an eight-year ban for doping. The ban will expire on January 27, 2027. The player has 21 days within which to file an appeal against the sanction."

With 390 Test wickets under his belt from 101 matches, Makhaya Ntini was one of South Africa’s greatest bowlers.

June 17, 2010 was the date Kobe Bryant got his fifth and final NBA ring.

The Los Angeles Lakers icon, who died in a helicopter crash earlier this year, helped his franchise beat the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals.

Two years ago Brooks Koepka became a back-to-back champion at the U.S. Open while in 1999 Australia and South Africa played one of the most thrilling Cricket World Cup contests ever.

We take a look at major sporting events that have happened on June 17 in previous years.

 

1999 - Australia edge past Proteas in dramatic semi

Until England's incredible Super Over win over New Zealand in last year's World Cup final, the 1999 semi-final between Australia and South Africa was perhaps the greatest ODI ever.

Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald managed to restrict Australia to 213 and though Shane Warne (4-29) kept his team in the match, South Africa entered the final over nine down but needing nine more to reach the final.

Successive fours from Lance Klusener (31 not out) tied the scores but, with the Proteas needing only one run from their final four deliveries, a mix-up between Klusener and Donald resulted in the latter being run out.

The game finished as a tie but Australia went through to the final because they had a superior run rate in the Super Six stage, with South Africa left to reflect on some all-too-familiar World Cup heartache.

 

2010 - Kobe leads Lakers past Celtics

Boston, who had beaten Los Angeles in the 2008 Finals, were 3-2 up after Game 5 but knew the series would be closed out in the City of Angels.

The Lakers, who were the defending champions, forced a Game 7 and came out on top 83-79 to clinch the franchise's 16th - and to date most recent - championship.

Bryant was voted Finals MVP for the second time in his career and scored a game-high 23 points in the decider.

 

2018 - Koepka wins U.S. Open again

Twelve months after he won by four strokes to claim his first major, Koepka proved to be unstoppable once more at the U.S. Open.

The American began the day in a four-way tie for the lead and his two-under-par 68 on Sunday was enough to earn him a one-stroke success over Tommy Fleetwood at Shinnecock Hills.

Koepka became just the third man since World War II - after Ben Hogan and Curtis Strange - to successfully defend the U.S. Open title.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) insists CEO Thabang Moroe remains suspended despite reporting for work.

Moroe was place on leave in December, still on full pay, following allegations of misconduct.

CSA said then that an investigation would be launched to look into a "possible failure of controls in the organisation".

However, on Friday the governing body was forced to confirm that Moroe's suspension was still in place after he "purported to report for duty".

"The board of Cricket South Africa (CSA) met last night to deliberate on the events which unfolded at the head office of CSA today (Thursday) when the suspended chief executive officer, Mr Thabang Moroe, purported to report for duty," a CSA statement read.

"The board wishes to clarify that the chief executive officer was suspended in December 2019 pending the outcome of an independent forensic investigation into management practices at Cricket South Africa.

"The letter of suspension issued to the chief executive officer explicitly stated that he was suspended until the conclusion of the independent forensic investigation.

"This investigation is not yet complete and therefore the chief executive officer remains suspended and any assertion that his suspension was for a pre-determined period is without basis.

"The forensic investigators have indicated that their report is imminent."

A panel of experts thought better of booting Glenn McGrath from the early reckonings for a place among the SportsMax Ultimate XI team with the Aussie eventually forcing his way into the final picks.

In the final analysis, India seems the place for producing One-Day International (ODI) players of real quality with the country holding onto four of the 11 spots up for grabs in the team.

At the top of the order in the SportsMax Ultimate XI are Indians Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma, while current India skipper Virat Kohli holds one of the three middle-order spots and Mahendra Singh Dhoni holds onto the wicketkeeper-batsman place in the side.

The West Indies, having won two World Cups in its history and making a final and a couple of semi-finals, are not far behind the Indians, holding down three places with Viv Richards hanging onto a middle-order place and Joel Garner making being part of the bowling attack.

Pakistan, who won the World Cup in 1992, led by Imran Khan also get two spots with the winning captain holding onto the allrounder position and Wasim Akram, the man who was seen as his heir apparent, asked to run in and swing the ball at pace.

Sri Lanka has for its only representative, Muttiah Muralitharan, while the Australian interest in the side has been decimated with just McGrath still standing from the plethora of greats they have produced.

 

Ultimate XI:

Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Viv Richards, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Joel Garner, Glenn McGrath, Muttiah Muralitharan

 

Last week fans were left aghast after a panel of experts and the SportsMax Zone picked a middle-order from three-five, without Brian Lara, a man generally agreed to be the region’s best-ever batsman.

 

Fanalyst Picks

Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Brian Lara, AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, MS Dhoni, Muttiah Muralitharan, Wasim Akram, Curtly Ambrose, Glenn McGrath

 

That decision stood with the panel and the experts and the SportsMax Zone’s combining to create an unbeatable 60% of the total votes.

The same was true for Curtly Ambrose, who the fans decided was the ultimate One-Day International bowler but had to watch as the Zone and the panel left him out in favour of Joel Garner.

Fans also did not get their way with the allrounder pick for the Ultimate XI, as, once again, the Zone and the panel joined forces to pick Imran ahead of their favourite, Jacques Kallis.

Still, there was some joy for the Fanalysts, who benefit from voting for McGrath.

McGrath was not in the final XI picked by the SportsMax Zone, who had to watch as one of their picks, Michael Holding was left out.

 

Zone Picks

Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Viv Richards, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni,

Imran Khan, Muttiah Muralitharan, Wasim Akram, Joel Garner, Michael Holding

 

Panel’s Picks

Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Viv Richards, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni,

Imran Khan, Muttiah Muralitharan, Wasim Akram, Joel Garner, Glenn McGrath

Coming from great cricket stock through his Dad, Peter Pollock who bowled for South Africa through the 1960s and his uncle, Graeme Pollock, who many regard, despite him having few opportunities to prove it, as the finest left hander the game has seen, Shaun Pollock was almost expected to be a good cricketer.

He was.

Shaun could bat a bit but it was as a fast-medium bowler that he really excelled.

Partnering with Alllan Donald, who was a few yards quicker, Pollock helped South Africa to become one of the most dangerous bowling and fielding unites in One-Day International cricket.

Pollock’s attributes were his doggedness and his willingness to do the hard yards that came with running in and putting the ball on a good spot outside off stump, not too close to the batsman for him to come onto the front foot and not so far back that he could afford to hang bat and wait either. The corridor of uncertainty was Pollock’s best friend.

But from that length, Pollock was able to create even more uncertainty with the fact he was able to move the ball in both directions.

Pollock has amost 393 ODI wickets at an average of 24.50. It is no wonder he makes a list of all-time great ODI players.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Shaun Maclean Pollock

Born: July 16, 1973 (46), Port Elizabeth, Cape Province

Major teams: South Africa, Africa XI, Dolphins, Durham, ICC World XI, KwaZulu-Natal, Mumbai Indians, Natal, Warwickshire

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast-medium

 

ODI Career: South Africa (1996-2008)

Mat    Inns    Balls   Runs          Wkts   BBI     BBM          Ave    Econ   SR          4w     5w     10w

303    297    15712          9631 393    6/35          6/35 24.50 3.67          39.9   12     5          0

 

Career Highlights

  • Secured 393 wickets at an average of 24.50
  • 6th most wickets in ODIs
  • Most ODI wickets at home (193)
  • Took five 5-wicket hauls in ODIs

Imran Khan is the allrounder of choice for the SportsMax Ultimate XI One-Day International team, so says a panel of experts and the SportsMax Zone.

The two have combined to pick the current Prime Minister of Pakistan despite significant opposition from Fanalysts.

According to Fanalysts, Jacques Kallis, who finished behind Garfield Sobers in the run-up to the Ultimate XI Test team, is the best ODI allrounder by a long way.

Kallis’ statistics as shown in the Ultimate XI Profiles are impressive. With a 44.36 average with the bat, 17 centuries and 86 half-centuries, as well as 273 wickets at an average of 31.79 with the ball, it is not difficult to understand the fan’s choice.

Imran Khan, on the other hand, averages 33.41 with the bat and 182 wickets at an average of 26.61 with the ball.

The suggestion from the Zone and the panel is clearly they are going for a bowling allrounder with Khan versus the batting bent present in Kallis’ performances.

In fact, Fanalysts do not even have Khan as a serious contender for a place in the Ultimate XI, with Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, Australia’s Shane Watson, and England’s Andrew Flintoff, garnering more picks than the famed former Pakistan skipper.

The zone and the panel have continued to play a three-legged race with their voting, so far agreeing on every segment of the XI.

So far, the team of the panel reads Rohit Sharma and Sachin Tendulkar as openers; Virat Kohli, Viv Richards, and AB de Villiers as batsmen 3-5, Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the wicketkeeper, and Imran Khan as the allrounder.

Fanalysts have, to date, come up with a slightly different team. They too, have gone with Sharma and Tendulkar at the top, but have decided on Lara to join Kohli and de Villiers in the middle order. The Fanalysts are in agreement with Dhoni as the overwhelming favourite for the wicketkeeping position but have chosen Kallis as their all-rounder.

This evening, the panel and Zone will be picking their bowlers so tune into SportsMax at 4:30pm Eastern Standard Time or 5:30pm in the Eastern Caribbean. You can watch SportsMax on the SportsMax app, download it from the App Store or from Google Play.

Remember, Fanalyst votes count for 40% of the overall vote for places in the Ultimate XI. Just go to the SportsMax.tv home page and click on the banner or click on this link.

Lance Klusener’s swing-for-the-fences approach to batting has fooled many into underscoring his technical ability with the bat, while his military medium pace makes many forget that at one time, the big South African once had enough purchase on his deliveries to either bowl you fullish deliveries or have you fending off bouncers.

With the drop in his pace, Klusener, who was a number-11 batsman, to begin with, adapted well, his average of 41.10 suggesting he could bat more than a bit.

He would score two centuries and 19 half-centuries in his 171-match ODI career. But even with his diminished pace, Klusener was a handful with the ball as well, taking 192 scalps in his career at an average of 29.95. On six occasion he had four wickets or more in a match, suggesting he had the ability to singlehandedly generate a favourable result for South Africa.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Lance Klusener

Born: September 4, 1971, Durban, Natal

Major teams: South Africa, Dolphins, Kolkata Tigers, KwaZulu-Natal, Middlesex, Mountaineers, Natal, Natal Country Districts, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Rest of the World XI

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast-medium

 

ODI Career (batting): South Africa (1996-2004)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs      HS      Ave      BF        SR       100s     50s    4s      6s   

171      137     50      3576      103*   41.10    3977     89.91       2      19      293    76   

 

ODI Career (bowling): South Africa (1996-2004)

Mat    Inns    Balls   Runs    Wkts   BBI     BBM     Ave     Econ   SR      4w     5w    10w

171      164     7336   5751     192    6/49    6/49     29.95   4.70    38.2      1       6       0

 

Career Highlights

  • Scored 3,576 runs at an overage of 41.10
  • Player of the 1999 World Cup tournament
  • Picked up 192 wickets at an average of 29.95
  • He picked up six 5 wicket hauls in ODIs

At no time has Jacques Kallis’ ability as an allrounder and the importance he had in the South African side of the late 1990s and early 2000s been more obvious than was the case when he faced the West Indies in the Wills International Cup.

The competition, which later became known as the ICC Champions Trophy, featured Kallis in the semi-final singlehandedly dismissing the West Indies, first slamming 113 from 100 deliveries before bagging 5-30 with the ball to boot them from the tournament.

He would perform feats of that nature for years to come, and at the World Cup in the Caribbean was South Africa’s leading scorer, notching 485 of them.

But his ODI career, as was the case when he played Test cricket, started slowly. It took two years before he scored his first international ton in the format, scoring 111 against New Zealand at the WACA.

While his strike rate of 72.89 could be higher, it could also be said that Kallis understood that his South Africa needed him to bat that way if they were to do well. His 11,579 runs perhaps tells a better story about Kallis’ importance to South Africa. Add that to his 273 wickets from 283 innings with the ball, and you have the stuff of legends.   

 

Career Statistics

ODI Career (batting): South Africa (1996-2014)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs      HS     Ave      BF          SR       100s    50s     4s      6s      Ct         

328       314    53     11579     139    44.36    15885     72.89     17      86       911    137    131   

 

ODI Career (bowling): South Africa (1996-2014)

Mat    Inns    Balls       Runs      Wkts    BBI     BBM     Ave    Econ   SR       4w     5w     10w

328      283    10750     8680       273      5/30    5/30     31.79   4.84   39.3       2        2         0

 

Career highlights

  • Only player over 10,000 runs and 250 wickets in both ODIs and Tests
  • Involved in 50 century partnerships in his ODI career
  • 2nd player to have 10,000 runs and 250 wickets in ODIs
  • Has received 32 Man of the Match awards in ODIs

Real Madrid have made a habit of European success down the years, winning the ultimate prize more times than any other club, and in 2017 they did what no one else could.

But June 3, 2016 will be remembered by many for contrasting reasons, as Muhammad Ali – one of the greatest athletes ever – died, leaving the sporting world in despair.

This day is also notable for South African cricket, and specifically an historic captaincy announcement.

We take a look at the major sporting events to have happened on this day through the years.

2017 – Los Blancos continue their European reign

When Real Madrid and Juventus went head-to-head in Cardiff for the 2017 Champions League final, the omens appeared to be in favour of the Old Lady – no team had ever defended their title in the competition.

But Madrid are no ordinary club and history was theirs in Wales, as they became the first club to retain the Champions League.

Although Mario Mandzukic cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo's well-taken 20th-minute opener with an outrageous over-the-shoulder volley, Madrid romped to a 4-1 victory in the second half.

Casemiro's deflected long-range effort put them back in front, Ronaldo turned in from close range to increase the deficit and Marco Asensio finished Juve off after brilliant work from Marcelo – they would go on to win the competition for a third successive season the following year.

2016 – Sport loses an icon

Arguably the most iconic boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali, died exactly four years ago.

His achievements in the ring were plentiful, Ali's most famous victories came in the Thrilla in Manila (1975) against Joe Frazier, and the Rumble in the Jungle (1974), in which he stunningly defeated George Foreman. The latter attracted an estimated one billion TV viewers.

Ali was renowned for his charisma, showmanship and quick wit, while he also wrote poetry and enjoyed success as a musician.

However, his impact as an activist is what he is best remembered for by many. Ali was stripped of his heavyweight titles after refusing to be drafted to the Vietnam War in 1966 and spent over three years away from the ring as he fought his conviction for draft evasion, which was overturned in 1971. His stance saw him grow into an inspirational figure in the civil rights movement.

He succumbed to Parkinson's syndrome in 2016, 32 years after making his diagnosis public. He continues to be regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated athletes in history.

2014 – An historic appointment for South African cricket

With Graeme Smith recently retiring from international cricket, in June 2014 South Africa made an historic appointment for his replacement as Test captain.

Batsman Hashim Amla got the nod despite many suspecting AB de Villiers – Smith's deputy – to have been the leading candidate for the role.

Durban-born Amla, who is of Indian descent, became South Africa's first non-white permanent Test captain in the process.

Amla retired from all forms of international cricket in August last year following the Cricket World Cup.

1999 – Malone named NBA MVP again

After a stellar 1998-99 season, Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz claimed the Maurice Podoloff trophy as he was named NBA MVP.

It was the second time he claimed the prize, making him – at that point – only the ninth player in NBA history to win it more than once, having also been a standout star two years earlier.

In 1998-99, which had a shortened calendar due to a lockout, Malone averaged 23.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists as the Jazz went 37-13, but the San Antonio Spurs ended the season victorious.

SA Rugby and Cricket South Africa have welcomed the decision for players to be able to return to training as part of revised lockdown regulations in the country. 

Nathi Mthethwa, minister for sports, arts and culture, announced the changes at a media briefing on Saturday, with non-contact sports cleared to resume both training and playing.  

As for contact sports, Mthethwa revealed while reporting on the department’s COVID-19 sector relief fund that they will be able to go back in a staggered, controlled manner. 

All professional teams now have 14 days to submit proposals to explain how they will ensure the safety of players and officials. 

"This is the news sport has been waiting to hear as it allows us to begin to ramp up preparations for an eventual return to play," said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby. 

"We submitted a comprehensive, staged return-to-play protocols document to the department five weeks ago and we are ready to begin medical screening of players immediately. 

"We will seek further clarity from the department on the application of the guidelines as they apply to contact training. 

"But this is an opportunity for our players to enhance their lockdown training regimes by increasing their fitness work for an eventual return to play."

South Africa’s cricketers can also now prepare to resume training again, though no individual will be forced to do so if they are not comfortable with the current situation.

The updated conditions only apply to the professional game, too.

"This is a big boost for the operational side of our cricket," commented Cricket South Africa's acting chief executive Jacques Faul.  

He added: “I have already had discussions with the South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) and I would like to stress that no player, coach, support staff or administrator will be forced to return to training if they are uncomfortable with it at this stage.”

Raised as a baseball player, Quinton de Kock's fearless striking and handy glove work, early in his career, earned him comparisons to greats of the game like Adam Gilchrist and Mark Boucher.

By the age of 21, de Kock shared the record for the most successive ODI centuries - three - before it was bettered by Kumar Sangakkara. A year later, he had established himself in all three formats.

In November of 2013, de Kock scored his first ODI century against Pakistan and a month later, he reeled off three in a row against India.

By his 20th ODI match, he had already scored five centuries. He became the fourth player to score three successive one-day centuries and the second player to score four ODI centuries before his 21st birthday.

In his 74th ODI, against Sri Lanka on February 10, 2017, he became the fastest player to complete 12 ODI hundreds, bettering Hashim Amla, who had achieved the landmark in 81 innings.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Quinton de Kock

Born: December 17, 1992, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Major teams: South Africa, Cape Town Blitz, Cape Town Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils, Easterns, Gauteng, Gauteng Under-19s, King Edward VII High School, Lions, Mumbai Indians, North of South Africa, Royal Challengers Bangalore, South Africa A, South Africa Under-19s, South African Composite XI, South African Invitation XI, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Titans

Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

 

ODI Career: South Africa (2013 – Present)

Mat Inns NO Runs HS  Ave       SR   100  50  Ct St

121 121  6  5135  178  44.65  94.84 15  25  164 9

 

Career Highlights

  • 164 catches and 9 stumpings in ODIs
  • Fastest South African to reach 1,000 ODI runs
  • 4th player to score 3 successive one-day centuries
  • fastest to complete 12 ODI hundreds (74 ODIs)

Christopher Henry Gayle is arguably the greatest One-Day International batsman the West Indies has ever produced but today his innings in the Ultimate XI ODI edition came up short.

Gayle had, yesterday, avoided the cut and made the final six among contestants vying for the honour of being one of the two best openers the game has ever seen.

According to the SportsMax panel of experts, Rohit Sharma and Sachin Tendulkar would form the greatest partnership the game to ever grace an ODI cricket pitch.

That would leave other greats like South Africa’s Hashim Amla, Sri Lankan legend Tillakaratne Dilshan, Pakistan’s Saeed Anwar, and, of course, Gayle as bystanders.

According to the SportsMax Zone, Sharma and Tendulkar are also the best it could come up with from the shortlist of 12, of course, the Zone did not do the culling of the herd the panel did yesterday.

For the unitiated, Rohit Sharma has scored as many ODI double hundreds as there are people who have scored them, while Tendulkar is by far and away, the heaviest ODI runscorer in the history of the sport and their picks may be hard to disagree with.

Unless, of course, you’re a Fanalyst.

Fanalysts have, so far, chosen Chris Gayle as one of their two openers and have also disagreed with the choice of Tendulkar to be the man to join him, instead going for Sharma.

Tendulkar, is at this point, the reserve option for the Fanalysts, but that could all change.

Have your say in the conversation by going to SportsMax.tv and clicking on the banner, or following the link here.

Boucher was a genius behind the stumps that kept wickets to the likes of Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Dale Steyn in their absolute prime.

As a lower middle-order batsman, he was symbolic of how traditionally deep South Africa have always batted. While not a holder of startling averages, he has produced plenty of well-played cameos. His career highlight came in 2006 when playing Australia; Boucher scored the winning runs in what is regarded as the greatest ODI ever played, when his team successfully chased the then-record ODI score of 434, quickly refreshing record-books.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Mark Verdon Boucher

Born: December 3, 1976, East London, Cape Province

Major teams: South Africa, Africa XI, Border, Cape Cobras, ICC World XI, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Warriors

Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm medium

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

 

ODI Career: South Africa (1998-2011)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs      HS     Ave     BF       SR        100s    50s     4s      6s      Ct     St

295      221     57      4686      147*  28.57   5528   84.76         1      26      356     83     403    22

 

Career Highlights

  • Most catches taken by a wicketkeeper in all forms of international cricket (952)
  • First place when paired with Makhaya Ntini for most successful bowler/wicketkeeper combinations with 75 dismissals.
  • Most dismissals in international cricket (998)
  • 4th most dismissals in ODIs (424)
  • 2nd fastest ODI century by a South African (44 balls)
  • 4th fastest half-century in World Cup history (21 balls)
  • 5th fastest half-century in World Cup history (22 balls)

World Rugby has ruled out the possibility of holding an international invitational tournament in the United Kingdom and Ireland in 2021 to provide relief following the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Rugby Football Union chief executive Francis Baron had proposed the one-off 16-team competition to raise money "for keeping the game of rugby alive around the world", with sport suspended in recent months due to the global crisis.

The event, held in the UK in order to avoid disrupting France's 2023 Rugby World Cup preparations, would see 31 matches across June and July and prompt the postponement of the British and Irish Lions' tour of South Africa.

The suggested tournament - dubbed the 'Coronavirus Cup of World Rugby' as Baron revealed his plan to the Telegraph - would reportedly aim to bring in up to £250million to support the sport as it recovers from the pandemic.

However, the  idea has been dismissed by governing body World Rugby.

A statement read: "World Rugby notes a proposal by former RFU CEO Francis Baron suggesting the organisation of a major international rugby event in the UK in 2021 to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on global rugby.

"World Rugby does not intend to pursue such a proposal.

"All stakeholders continue to progress productive discussions regarding the immediate global COVID-19 financial relief strategy and international rugby calendar optimisation, both of which will further the success of Rugby World Cup 2023 in France."

World Rugby has already postponed all July Tests and set aside a $100million relief fund in a bid to assist those struggling the most.

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