Why SA's top rugby coaches are shielding stars in 'prep series'

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Jake White during the Currie Cup final between Bulls and Sharks.
Jake White during the Currie Cup final between Bulls and Sharks.
(Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

Round two of the domestic rugby preparation series looms large in unusual, midweek time slots ... and still the coaches of the four major, Euro competition-bound SA franchises are noticeably averse to fielding their premier players.

There are at least two compelling reasons, I believe, why their general policy to this point has been to examine squad depth - with largely second-string starting line-ups - rather than begin giving gallops yet to their Springboks or other traditionally headline acts in the respective ranks.

One is that they are doubtless factoring in (despite the particularly high-gravitas, looming season-proper) the unorthodoxy of the last campaign, which saw a Currie Cup final played on 30 January and all of the competition, plus preceding Super Rugby Unlocked, played in challenging summer conditions.

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