Bulls director of rugby Jake White has shared his views on South Africa's decision not to compete in this year's Rugby Championship in Australia.
SA Rugby cited player welfare and other logistical issues when making the call last month.
Via a column for The XV website, the former Springbok coach wrote that it would have been "unfair" to send an under-prepared Bok team.
"Having watched the standard of the rugby between Australia and New Zealand in the Bledisloe Cup series, it would have been unfair for us as world champions and Rugby Championship winners to have been exposed to that quality and intensity without proper preparation," he wrote.
With the Boks out, the tournament was rebranded to Tri Nations with Australia, New Zealand and Argentina slugging it out.
White added: "As the No 1 team in the world, there is a target on us. If New Zealand and Australia had been in our position, they would have done the same. The top tennis players and top golfers will not enter a major without proper preparations.
"After seven months of no rugby, to expect a group of players to just assemble is unrealistic. And no coach-captain combination would relish that scenario."
White, who coached the Boks to World Cup glory in France in 2007, looks set to start his Bulls tenure with silverware.
They currently top the Super Rugby Unlocked table and a bonus-point win over the Pumas in their final game will secure the title.
- Compiled by Sport24 staff