SA seek change

The Springboks are unhappy that the All Blacks only spent a week touring South Africa and are looking to have next year’s tournament restructured.

It is widely acknowledged that the length of South African tours overseas – in both the Super 14 and Tri-Nations – hold them at a distinct disadvantage compared to their Australasian counterparts. The Springboks played three consecutive Tests Down Under this year, while the All Blacks spent a week in South Africa, and the Wallabies will spend two.

Manager of national teams, Andy Marinos, said they want New Zealand’s tour to South Africa to be extended.

“We have proposed to Sanzar that a bye be included when New Zealand tour South Africa next year,” Marinos told Die Beeld. “We will then play the All Blacks twice and the Wallabies once just after the tour by the British and Irish Lions.”

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers highlighted the disadvantages faced by his team when touring.

“It [travelling] will always favour them [Australia and New Zealand]. When they come here, the time difference favours them. They gain a day but we lose a day when we fly there. Then you also have to play, for financial reasons, on consecutive Saturdays,” said De Villiers.

The host union finances the visitors flight and accommodation expenses, and it is therefore more expensive to include a bye and lengthen the trip.

“Sanzar consists of three countries and the profits and losses should be shared,” Marinos said. “From a business point of view it was too expensive to include a bye.

“During the first extended Tri-Nations series in 2006 the Springboks spent an additional week in Sydney. But it means the tour is then extended to five weeks. Some players who are involved in the Super 14 competition already have a tour of five or six weeks behind them [by the time the Tri-Nations starts]. It makes it more difficult.”