Former Springbok captain Wynand Claassen believes South Africa should skip this year’s Rugby Championship and focus on the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour.
While the announcement that the 2020 Rugby Championship would be held in Australia from 7 November to 12 December was made by Sanzaar on Friday morning, it was also confirmed that the Springboks’ participation in the tournament was still to be confirmed, dependent on several factors.
Claassen says travelling to Australia to compete in the Rugby Championship will not be in the best interest of the Springboks and that SA Rugby should take a stand and withdraw from the competition at least for this year.
‘I honestly believe they should not play in the Championship; it simply doesn’t make any sense to me,’ Claassen told The Citizen.
‘If one thinks that New Zealand and Australia have been playing their domestic rugby for the last two months and our rugby hasn’t even restarted yet, we would definitely be underprepared.
‘What will happen if we again give 50 points away to New Zealand, like what happened in 2016 and 2017 – who will be blamed?
‘We’ve got more to lose by playing in the Championship. We must remember that we are the World Cup champs, the No 1 ranked team in the world and the Rugby Championship holders,’ he said.
‘One has to understand that because of Covid-19 we haven’t been able to restart our local game, but it is what it is and we just have to move on and forget about the Rugby Championship for this year.
‘SA Rugby must just take a stand and decide what is in the best interests of the Boks and their legacy. Yes, money talks, but it’s not all about money; there are many more factors at play.’
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