The Springbok team will now leave on the away leg of their Castle Tri-Nations tour at 23h15 on Saturday on a specially arranged Qantas flight it was announced on Saturday.
The team is scheduled to arrive in Sydney at 19h05 (local time) on Sunday – 31 hours later than originally scheduled – after the team’s flight on Friday was forced to return to Johannesburg after suffering an engine failure.
“There has obviously been some disruption but we are on top of it and have made the necessary adjustments to our planning,” said Springbok coach Peter de Villiers.
“We had timed our departure with a view to managing the effects of jet lag and have had to re-examine those plans. We’ve looked at the programme and it has had an effect, but we will manage it.
“Obviously there were a few stressful moments but we have given the players a free day to relax before we get back together this evening.”
The team spent the night at the Intercontinental Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport and was informed of the new arrangements at a team meeting at 09h00 on Saturday.
“Qantas have been very good,” said De Villiers. “They kept us informed throughout the night and their general manager came through to the team meeting to explain the situation and answer any questions from the players.
“Things like this draw people closer together and hopefully that’ll be the effect on this team. But right now it’s all systems go and we’re looking forward to getting to Australia and preparing for a Test match.”
In a statement Qantas said a new aircraft had been despatched to Johannesburg on Saturday to accommodate passengers that were scheduled for Sydney. All passengers were to receive their original seat numbers and the flight will carry the same flight number, QF64.
The new aircraft is scheduled to land in Johannesburg at 20h00 on Saturday and is scheduled for departure at 23h15 tonight.