Jake White has highlighted the benefits of the top franchises playing in the northern hemisphere, while retaining the opportunity for the Boks to still annually face the All Blacks.
It has long been confirmed that the South African franchises will leave Super Rugby and instead compete in an expanded PRO16 competition from next year onwards. That decision casted doubt on SA Rugby’s future in the Sanzaar partnership and the Boks’ continued participation in the Rugby Championship.
But earlier this week, it was confirmed that SA Rugby made the decision to commit to Sanzaar, with the Springboks set to play in the Rugby Championship as it stands, although they have hinted ‘possible international expansion is on the cards’..
Despite several prominent rugby figures in the country calling for an end to the Sanzaar partnership in favour of a future in the Six Nations, White has endorsed the decision to stick with the Rugby Championship.
‘It’s the best of both worlds now,’ he said. ‘We’re playing our franchise rugby north and competing against the All Blacks regularly. Despite all the changes from the past few months, we should never doubt the value we derived from playing south.
‘Playing against Australasian teams at Super Rugby and international level proved to be an asset to our rugby. We’ve won two World Cups during the Super Rugby era, so it certainly suggests that it was an alliance that worked.
‘Moving north is good from a mental perspective, the players can spend a bit more time at home with their families due to the competition structure and time zone. It’s a different part of the world and perhaps a different challenge for us too,’ he said.
‘But you’re still going to have our best players competing against the best in the world in the All Blacks. I really can’t be a bad thing when you keep that in mind.’
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