The top Springboks will play in next year’s Vodacom Super 14.
The South African Rugby Union has decided not to follow the example of their New Zealand counterparts, who this week withdrew 22 All Blacks from the first seven rounds of the competition.
This angered Newscorp, who has demanded compensation from the NZRU. The broadcaster has a clause in the contract that says the best players must take part.
Saru president Regan Hoskins said he had taken note of the tension between Newscorp and the NZRU.
“I spoke to Andy Marinos [manager of national teams] and it seems we have reached a decision,” Hoskins told Beeld. “We have taken a sensible decision. We will grant the players rest, but it will not negatively influence the Super 14.
“We certainly can’t follow New Zealand by withdrawing 22 players from the competition. It could still lead to great ill-feeling. I think Jake White and the franchises have taken a well-considered decision.”
The presence of the top Boks will greatly increase South Africa’s chance of winning the Super 14 for the first time.