Sustainability is the catch word these days in all business! So we move forward into the future with the discussion of “BOK SUSTAINABILITY”. Players named by Jurie Roux such as Jean de Villiers and Eben Etzabeth. They are selected for every match that they are available for Springbok, SUPERRUGBY and Currie cup. The problem lies beneath I tell you. We have had on 20 years of SUPERRUGBY since Franscois Pienaar’s Transvaal beat Aukland 20-17 back in ’93 SUPER 10.
SUPERRUGBY was just a warm up tournament for the season ahead and gave the players a taste of International competition. We were in a great period of rugby and although Bok selectors/coaches got it wrong and paid for it when they lost their jobs one by one. We still had the core what was to be a Winning team in the ’95 WC. The advent of professional rugby era and administrative greed would soon be the name of the game.
Professional rugby in the Southern Hemisphere has revolved around SUPERRUGBY and Tri-Nation/Rugby Championship. All of which is funded by the South African economy. It’s the driving force and is an undeniable fact that we are the core funding of these tournaments. So what am I saying? We are actually paying for the All Blacks and Australia to make their teams stronger. Yes! We all love “All Black” encounters but it’s not SPECIAL anymore as there’s always one next year again.
Players have long since written off Currie cup rugby and make an appearance normally only in the final stages of it once all Springbok duties are over. It is seen as a second rate competition for those who do not make it to the TOP TIER! We have watched many matches where there are small crowds in the Currie Cup. The FAITHFUL are the only ones to arrive and support. The majority of people are willing to watch this on television in the comfort of the home.
I present you with this suggestion which will more than likely be shot down. Withdraw from the current setup and tell “All and Sundry” to take a hike. Do away with the Rugby Championship totally. Playing the All Blacks and Australia every year is killing us. Make them feel the pressure and understand that it was our cash that made them so strong that they can afford to keep their players. Our players that were cannon fodder for them to strengthen their teams at our expense and travel.
Take the emphasis of our season away from SANZAR tournaments and keep our money to fund a strong Currie Cup system to have strength vs strength matches. Capacity crowds would benefit us. Teams may be allowed a number of International players to be in their squads. Make our season back to what it was Currie Cup to start April and May. To have a serious international touring period during June, July and August. TEST rugby at it’s best as it should be. Force the IRB and SANZAR to accept this window as International fixtures. This will be like a LIONS Tours in the 70’s or 80’s where all the Unions enjoy the benefits of a match against the Tourists. The season can be worked out in such a way that our BOKS are also playing Currie Cup while the Touring side has the Provincial side of the Tour. This way our BOKS are always part of the picture. End the SA rugby season with the business end of the Currie Cup early October. The BOK players wouldn’t be abused anymore. The year will end with the traditional Tour up North to accommodate their domestic season.
We would benefit as a country. We wouldn’t tour Australasia extensively anymore and fatigue our players with the constant travel. They would be home most of the time other than weekend game. A happier player less travelled. Other than the years that The BOKS tour New Zealand or OZ they would spend the domestic season within our borders. Structures of a season like this worked very well in the past. One off Test matches is in abundance, like take-aways it leaves us unsatisfied but fed for now. Touring places with the BOK head isn’t heard of anymore and many readers might not even know about that tradition.
Sponsors that are Proudly SA would benefit with Tour Branding and mileage. The money will remain in our country and not in the coffers of the enemy. Product would be a STRONGER BOK TEAM!
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.