A round up of what some of South Africa’s leading Sunday papers are saying, including a response from SA Rugby to the accusations of doping.
In an interview with Marizanne Kok in Rapport, SA Rugby president Mark Alexander says anybody suggesting that the Springboks’ 2019 World Cup win could be ruined by doping could be charged with defamation. Alexander was responding to accusations from former Ireland lock Neil Francis, who wrote in a column that he was fairly certain of a steriod culture in South African rugby before asking whether an asterisk needs to be placed beside the Springboks as the 2019 Webb Ellis trophy winners. ‘You know, those who said that stuff about our so-called drug culture can be charged with defamation,’ Alexander said. ‘And what if we start talking about their drug culture? There is a problem in our schools, but all of us are working hard to try to solve it.’
Staying with Rapport, following reports in the week that Scottish centre Huw Jones wanted to return to the Stormers next year, the Cape side has been linked with another British & Irish Lions midfielder. According to the story, written by Leighton Koopman, Welsh centre Jamie Roberts has also expressed interest in a move to Newlands for the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby season. The 33-year-old is believed to want to stay in top fitness to stand a chance of being a part of next year’s Lions tour to South Africa. However, a deal could be unlikely as Western Province Rugby may not have the funds available to pay his salary.
Finally, the Sunday Times has an update on the situation regarding Rassie Erasmus’ successor as Springbok head coach. According to Liam del Carme’s report, former Kings coach Deon Davids could find himself in the hot seat next year as he has been in discussions about a role with the Boks since before the World Cup. Assistant coach Jacques Nienaber, who is Erasmus’ long-time friend and advisor, has also been heavily linked to the role. Davids spent four years with the Southern Kings, but left under a cloud after the union struggled to give him the support he needed to succeed in the Pro14.