SA rugby boss says no training camp scam

2011-07-28 08:49

Wellington – South African Rugby Union chief executive Jurie Roux says 21 Springboks said to be injured and unable to play in Tri-Nations matches in Australia and New Zealand are not at a secret training camp as local media has reported.

Roux made an angry rebuttal today of South African media reports that the reportedly injured players, ruled out of matches against Australia last weekend and New Zealand on Saturday, are training at Rustenburg under Springboks technical director Rassie Erasmus.

Springboks coach Peter de Villiers was also confronted with the accusation that South Africa may be resting top players ahead of the World Cup, when his team arrived in Wellington from Sydney yesterday. De Villiers dismissed the reports as “mischief.”

“We know that the long Super 15 season is the cause of this and we just have to abide by that,” De Villiers said. “They’re not training. It (the report) doesn’t surprise me because there’s always mischief everywhere.”

Roux was more impassioned, insisting that the injured players – who may return to the Springboks squad for the home leg of the Tri-Nations tournament – had gathered to receive treatment.

“I’m not denying that they’re at Rustenburg. I’m denying the fact that there’s a secret training camp,” he said. “I’ve got my players in a single high performance entity being rehabilitated – that’s it.

“It is very simple, it is a unique thing to me that people are worried about this at all.

“I run a multi-million rand corporation where my biggest asset are my players. They’re injured, I need to do something to get them ready for the World Cup.”

No criticism has been raised in Australia or New Zealand about the Springboks decision to leave behind 21 top-line players. The Wallabies and All Blacks have also rested some players in the opening tests of their World Cup season.

Roux appeared to find the allegations against the Springboks personally offensive.

“What do you do with an injured player?” he said. “You don’t send them off to Bali or Mauritius to have a holiday. You put him into your high performance center, you put him with the best doctor you can find ... and you put him on a program to rehabilitate him to get back to the World Cup.

What more would you expect?

“I don’t understand the conspiracy, I don’t understand the confusion. This is a simple thing, if I don’t put him on a medical program, don’t have him rehabilitated for the World Cup I need to come to New Zealand for a job, which is the last thing I want to do.”

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