Best format for SA 'state of origin' series?
SPOTLIGHT: Given the delay in return to training, not only is South Africa continuing to lose ground to New Zealand and Australia, an in-house competition is beginning to look the most likely option.
Weekend media reports suggested that a ‘State of Origin’ competition has been advanced as an alternative for internationals – should South Africa continue to be locked out.
On the domestic front, SA Rugby has already moved past a Super Rugby style competition to an eight-team Currie Cup contest that will, hopefully, get underway at the end of August.
However, with South Africa reportedly only now entering its predicted peak of infection in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the prospect of any international rugby is becoming a fading dream.
That is why the State of Origin series is on the table as an alternative.
The question is, what will the composition of the teams be?
Will it be based on where they were born, schooled, made their provincial debut or played most of their rugby?
Other proposals include a North versus South selection, or Coastal versus Inland teams.
The Afrikaans Sunday newspaper Rapport suggested that December 19, December 26 and January 2 have been bookmarked as the possible dates.
Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban are the likely venues.
The final question in the murky waters around this debate is the availability of South Africa’s European-based Springboks.
As it is unlikely to be inside any official international window, the Euro clubs will not release their players.
However, the most consuming debate is the selection criteria of the teams.