Some of us were able to watch our first live rugby in more than six months when the Stormers played a series of three 20-minute chukkas between teams chosen from within the extended squad at Newlands on Friday.

It was exciting to see live rugby again but a sobering reality hit me during my two hours at Newlands. It came when I thought back to what I was doing on the corresponding Friday of 2019. I was in Japan and it was the day before the Springboks opened their Rugby World Cup campaign against New Zealand.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now