Sport | Rugby
National director of rugby Rassie Erasmus won’t allow any Springbok
team to enter a competition undercooked, former Bok eighthman Warren Whiteley insists.
There were strong indications, it recently emerged, that the Rugby Championship might be held in a single hub in Sydney in September or October.
There were fears, however, that the Bok squad might be underdone because the Super Rugby Aotearoa series in New Zealand was already in its third week, while a local competition might kick off only in August.
“I just don’t think Rassie will let the Boks play in a competition where they are compromised, having not played enough rugby,” said Whiteley, the Lions’ lineout coach.
“I must admit though, I’m not aware of any competition yet. I don’t read a lot of newspapers or follow what’s going on in the press.”
Whiteley believed there would be multiple risks involved if the national squad, coached by Jacques Nienaber, did not have sufficient time to prepare to take on their biggest rivals in the prestigious Rugby Championship.
“It will probably not only be unfair but there might also be a big injury risk, so I think Rassie will be in control of that. He will really run that show,” Whiteley said.
“It’s difficult for me to answer on a competition which hasn’t been confirmed, but knowing Rassie I know he will make his studies and do his homework.”
Erasmus was known to plan meticulously, and Whiteley felt this would play in the Boks’ favour.
“Rassie will use his expertise as director to make the correct calls and decide what is in the best interest of the side or a national competition,” he said.
Whiteley, however, believed communication channels would need to be opened in order to ensure all stakeholders were on the same page.
“Rassie also would have spoken to the right people about that,” Whiteley said, “and I know he will make the right decisions there.”
For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.