Experienced Lions scrumhalf Ross Cronje believes it is risky to make bold statements or predictions during these uncertain times, with numerous avenues being explored for the future of the game, as voices become increasingly louder from Down Under in a push to exclude South Africa from the Super Rugby competition.
Joining a group of Australasian players, former All Black flyhalf Andrew Mehrtens said recently that it made sense to push for a competition between only New Zealand and Australian sides due to travel challenges.
“This virus has affected rugby big time, and only time will tell what is going to happen,” said Cronje, who played 10 Tests for the Springboks in 2016.
“We are going to have to wait and see, but whatever it is, the Lions will be ready for whatever competition we have to play in, as we have been there before.”
Due to rugby’s industry savings plan, there had been a lot of player movements during a recent 21-day clause which allowed them to exit contracts.
And while the game remained on hold during the global pandemic, the potential avenue of local teams moving north in search of competition had also been raised.
“With so much uncertainty comes a lot of opportunity and if that doesn’t excite and motivate you, I don’t know what else will,” said the 30-year-old Cronje, who formed part of the Lions’ leadership group.
“The key is to keep the players happy and create a culture that wants the players to stay at the Lions, and I believe the Lions will always be a quality side and contenders.”
Another potential option which had been thrown into the mix, in an attempt to relaunch the game, was to restore the Currie Cup to its former glory until the situation returned to normal.
“I don’t know what the future for this year is going to hold but I have been staying as fit as possible,” Cronje said.
“If we do get the green light I’m ready to go and I know all the Lions boys are on the same page.
“We just hope government gives us the green light to keep people entertained at home.”