Boks ‘on a knife edge’

Tim Noakes believes the Boks will have a nightmare 2010 if leading players aren’t rested for the upcoming end-of-year tour.

The likes of John Smit, Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield and Fourie du Preez are all expected to play against France and Ireland – the two biggest games of the tour – but Noakes says they are in desperate need of a break and should be left at home to recuperate.

‘It was clear in the Currie Cup semi-finals that the Springboks are tired and they are pacing themselves,’ Noakes told Business Day. ‘Either they should be left at home to rest or a deal has to be made with the Super 14 coaches that these guys only participate in the series after the third or fourth round.’

Noakes said the top Boks needed an eight-week break or else the side would suffer in 2010.

‘The team is on a knife edge. Next year will be one of the worst seasons in Springbok rugby unless something is done about the year-end tour. We will get smacked in the Tri-Nations and the domestic tour. The same can be said for the Super 14. The Bulls will not win the competition next year if their Boks go on tour and the Sharks will have a poor season.’

Noakes recommended taking the top Currie Cup players on the end-of-year tour as they are ‘hungry to play’.