‘Unfair’ to send the Boks to Rugby Champs
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The 2007 World Cup-winning Springboks coach Jake White has stated it would be ‘unfair’ to send the Springboks to this year’s Rugby Championship.
SA Rugby faces a daunting task of deciding whether the Springboks will skip this year’s Rugby Championship tournament.
SA Rugby was scheduled to make a decision on October 10. However, the announcement was yet again delayed on Saturday, with the organization promising to reveal the results early this week.
The World Cup-winners is due to defend the Rugby Championship title in Australia between November 7 and December 12.
It means the Springboks would have to leave for Australia in less than a week (October 18), if they want a proper Test build-up week from November 1.
SA Rugby reportedly could pocket 300 million rand ($18 million/15 million euro) by playing New Zealand, Australia and Argentina in a six-round championship.
However, on-field in terms of match readiness, given that the locally based Springboks only played two matches thus far, it will be disastrous for players.
Speaking to reporters after the Bulls 30-23 win over Griquas, Jake White added his voice to the ‘difficult’ debate.
“From a rugby point of view, as a former [Springbok ] coach, I think it’s fantastic that the boys want to play Test matches,” White said.
“I understand fully that it’s not the ideal preparation, and probably if I was the coach, I would be asking SA Rugby to try and find ways in which we probably don’t participate – because it’s a bit unfair.
“If you are considering that they will make the call next week, then there are club guys that have to get out of their commitments; there are players here who have played one or two games of rugby who all of a sudden have to go into a Rugby Championship.
“You are coming up against some of the best players in the world, and they have played constantly. Australia and New Zealand have played rugby over the last three or four months.
“I would also understand that there are other things that come into play. Firstly, we are the current holders of that tournament. Secondly, there are television rights, etc.
“So, I can understand that if you are sitting in the boardroom and you are doing the sums, you would have a perception of what should happen, and if you are a coach, then you have another perception. It’s a difficult one.”