If Jake White was the current Springbok coach, he would ask AUS v SA Rugby to withdraw the team from the Rugby Championship as it’s “a bit unfair” on them to participate.
While Sanzaar announced a revised fixture schedule – with all Tests in Australia – last Thursday that saw the Wallabies host the All Blacks in Sydney in the opener on October 31, and the Boks finishing off the event on December 12 against Argentina in Newcastle, the South Africans have yet to confirm that they will actually travel Down Under.
On Saturday, the SA Rugby Union said that they would announce their final decision “early next week” after consulting with government and Sanzaar as “several hurdles needed to be cleared if it is to be confirmed”.
New head coach Jacques Nienaber and his team are scheduled to start their tournament against Argentina in Brisbane on November 7, but will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period once they land in Australia.
That means that the Boks – who are the defending champions and World Cup winners – will have to arrive in Brisbane by October 18 for the latest, so that they can have a proper Test build-up week from November 1.
Adding to the uncertainty would be the status of overseas-based stars, so it could result in players from South Africa only in the initial matches before others from Europe and Japan could be considered.
And these are just the on-field issues – there is also a huge financial incentive for the Boks to play, as local authorities have already shaved R1.2 billion off the balance sheet, with pay-cuts among the measures taken to reduce the bills.
“From a rugby point of view, as an ex-coach, I think it’s fantastic that the boys want to play Test matches,” the former Bok mentor White said following his Bulls team’s 30-23 win over Griquas on Saturday night. Boks vs Wallabies live Rugby