Cardiff Blues are STILL stuck in an airport as ongoing 47-hour South African travel farce sees players ordered off plane

Cardiff Blues have been hit by yet more travel chaos ahead of their vital Guinness PRO14 clash with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

They are currently stuck at Johannesburg Airport having already spent around 47 hours n their nightmarish journey.

Gethin Jenkins of Cardiff Blues

Gethin Jenkins of Cardiff Blues

Danny Wilson’s in-form team were originally due to fly out to South Africa from Heathrow at 9pm on Wednesday night.

They were scheduled to fly to Johannesburg and then get a connecting flight to Bloemfontein in the Free State.

But their flight out of Heathrow was delayed first by an hour and then by a further 20 hours!

They eventually flew at 5pm yesterday, having spent the night at a local hotel, which meant they missed their connecting flight to Bloemfontein.

A fresh connection was arranged for early this morning, only for yet more problems to arise.

The Blues were hit by a further three hour delay, spending more than two hours in the terminal, on a bus and around 40 minutes on the plane on the runway.

And then the situation got even worse as they had to get off the plane because of a faulty radar.

So they are now back in the terminal in Johannesburg. They were able to get space on a 2.30pm flight but that has now been delayed by a couple of hours also.

They were originally due to arrive in Bloemfontein on Thursday morning, but now they won’t get there until this evening – less than 18 hours before the crucial game against the Cheetahs, which kicks off at 2pm British time tomorrow at the Toyota Stadium.

The nightmarish nature of their journey clearly has player welfare implications, with PRO14 bosses believed to have looked at the possibility of delaying the fixture 24 hours.

However, it has been decided the best course of action is for the game to go ahead as planned.

The Blues are staying in South Africa after the match as they take on the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth next weekend.

The Blues are due to play the Cheetahs on Saturday

The Blues are due to play the Cheetahs on Saturday

As it stands, their preparations for tomorrow’s game against the Cheetahs are anything but ideal, especially with so much resting on the fixture.

Both teams are vying for a place in the end-of-season PRO14 play-offs, which will feature the top three sides from each conference.

The Cheetahs currently lie third in Conference A, but the Blues are just five points behind.

So a win for Wilson’s men would set up a grandstand finish to the play-off battle with two more matches to play after this weekend.

The Blues are certainly in the form to pull off a victory having won their last eight matches in the league and Europe.

One of those wins was a 25-20 triumph over the Cheetahs at the Arms Park in February.

They extended their purple patch last weekend when they beat Edinburgh 20-6 at Murrayfield to set up a home Challenge Cup semi-final against Pau.