Jake White calls for four-week URC tours to be reviewed
“I don’t think people appreciate just how tough it is for a South African side to be away for four weeks with a reduced number of players.”
Bulls director of rugby Jake White says it’s tough for SA teams to tour for four weeks in the United Rugby Championship. Picture: Tyler Miller/Gallo Images
Bulls director of rugby Jake White says that South African franchises are at a disadvantage when they tour for four weeks in the United Rugby Championship.
The Bulls, along with the Sharks, Lions and Stormers, who are left with one game overseas, have all embarked on month-long European tours at the start of the URC season.
The teams have had to deal with all the challenges that come with being away from home for a long time, having a limited squad and still delivering on the field.
Results on the road have not been good for the SA sides; in the 15 matches they have played on their travels, they have only won three games.
Following his team’s final game on tour on Friday, where they lost 31-23 to Sean Everitt’s Edinburgh, the Bulls’ White said the four-week tour schedule for SA sides should be reviewed as it puts them on the back foot.
“I don’t think people appreciate just how tough it is for a South African side to be away for four weeks with a reduced number of players,” White told the media.
“Four weeks on tour, we are going to have to look if that’s the way we are going to keep it going forward. I think it’s a massive advantage for the home teams when South African sides are away for four weeks.
“One of the sells of leaving Super Rugby was we wouldn’t have to spend a month away from home. I’m sure we would have to look at that because you can see the toll it takes from a team, four weeks away from home,” he said.
The Bulls had a decent run in Europe; they lost their first game to Ulster and then bounced back with back-to-back wins against Zebre and Cardiff and lost their last encounter to Edinburgh.
“It’s a satisfactory tour, but we are striving for better,” White said.
“We want to be a great side; we want to make sure we win every game, that’s what we are trying to create at the Bulls. I’m not saying we’re happy with 10 points from the tour but it is tough to tour. It is tough to tour for four weeks as well,” he said.