Typical confusion within SA Rugby. No one knows which of the contracted Springbok players can and cannot play Currie Cup rugby this weekend.
When New Zealand completed their Vodacom Tri Nations last Saturday, the following morning they released a list with a complete breakdown of when the 30 players would be reintroduced into New Zealand’s domestic competition. It ranged from one week to five weeks, depending on the Tri nations game time of the players.
South African provincial CEO’s, though, were none the wiser despite a national meeting on Friday. Some believed there was a compromise following the initial decision to withdraw all contract Bok players from the Currie Cup. Others were sticking to the original decision, saying they had heard nothing further.
Jake White’s comments, post the Springboks win against the Wallabies, were also not definitive. He said injuries had changed circumstance and that he would have to look at each situation specifically. You’d like to think that is how it should have worked from the start.
Of the squad that played on Saturday, JP Pietersen, Akona Ndungane, Breyton Paulse, Wynand Olivier, Jean de Villiers, Butch James, Andre Pretorius, Ruan Pienaar, Pedrie Wannenburg, Pierre Spies, AJ Venter, Albert van den Berg, Johan Muller, Lawrence Sephaka, BJ Botha and Chiliboy Ralepelle should all be playing. The tired and overplayed are John Smit, Os du Randt, Victor Matfield and Jaque Fourie.
Of the contracted players, some of them are injured and others are struggling to make their provincial teams.
It makes sense that most of the national players are involved in this last month of the tournament. They could do with a change of environment. The key to everything is managing the demands on the player. Surely that’s not the work of a brain surgeon.