Andre Esterhuizen & Wilco Louw: Harlequins pair to miss restart because of visa issues

By Chris JonesBBC rugby union correspondent
Wilco Louw has won 13 caps for South Africa during his career
Wilco Louw has won 13 caps for South Africa, the most recent against Argentina last summer

Harlequins will be without their new Springbok signings for the start of the Premiership resumption after visa issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Centre Andre Esterhuizen and prop Wilco Louw have yet to arrive at the club despite the imminent season restart.

Quins boss Paul Gustard says the delay has been "frustrating" but the South Africa internationals are expected in London this weekend.

The season resumes on Friday with Quins hosting Sale at The Twickenham Stoop.

Esterhuizen, who has eight caps, and Louw, who has played 13 times for the Springboks, have both had their visa process held up by the lockdown in South Africa.

"The ability to get in and get the necessary paperwork done, with the amount of places shut down, has taken us a lot longer than we anticipated," Gustard explained.

"But we've got numbers, and it will be a nice boost when these players arrive and give us a lift."

Meanwhile the league's leading referee Wayne Barnes will be unavailable for the first two rounds of the restart.

Barnes landed on holiday in Majorca the day before travel rules were put in place by the government requiring those returning from Spain to quarantine for 14 days.

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