David Campese has raised serious questions about the Spears’ inclusion in next year’s Vodacom Super 14.
Writing for the Independent, the legendary Australian winger and current Sharks backline consultant speculated about the viability of the decision with the domestic season well under way.
“I have no idea how they can join the Currie Cup at this stage, are they going to start with zero points, and how will the fixtures be changed? Forget the Currie Cup, next year’s Super 14 is going to be an absolute nightmare for the Spears. Who is going to play for them?
“In the original deal made when Brian van Rooyen was still the president of Saru, it was agreed that the lowest finishing South African team in this year’s Super 14, would be relegated, and eight of their players would become part of the Spears squad.
“If that still remains, the Cats would be relegated, and eight of their players would have to go to the Spears,” he wrote.
According to Campese this situation was impractical add would give rise to a number of secondary challenges.
“Firstly, the Cats players couldn’t even perform this year at an established franchise, and secondly, why would any of them want to go and play for the Spears, who are going to get a hiding every game? And as for the Cats, what would happen to their sponsors and so on?”
He also sounded a warning to the Spears and South African rugby in general.
“The Western Force from Australia really struggled in their first season of Super rugby this year, and they had top international players like Nathan Sharpe, Scott Fava and Cameron Shepherd. The Spears are going to find it much, much harder.
“South African rugby is in turmoil off the field yet again. At the moment the problems off the field, are becoming problems on the field, and vice versa. It will be interesting to see how Saru responds to the High Court’s decision, and where we go from here.”
Saru are expected to appeal the ruling but no formal application has been made yet.