• How SA Rugby’s novel ‘draft pick’ will work

    Two groups of 25 will be selected from an enlarged squad of 60 players in an old-style ‘school-yard pick’ draft to take place next week.

    SA Rugby on Wednesday announced its plans to reignite an exciting four-month local season, which will kick off with a Vodacom Super Fan day involving the four Super Rugby sides next Saturday, followed by a ‘Springbok Showdown’.

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    The ‘showdown’ will see a Springbok Green side taking on a Springbok Gold side at Newlands, with Springbok assistants Mzwandile Stick and Deon Davids taking charge of the two sides.

    Director of rugby Rassie Erasmus and Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber will act as the team commissioners.

    The match will be similar to New Zealand Rugby’s recent North vs South clash, but the major difference will be that players will not be selected based on geography.

    The selection process will take the form of a draft pick from an enlarged squad of 60 players with Green and Gold team bosses taking alternate turns in an old-style ‘school-yard pick’ to assemble their match-day squads of 25 players each.

    The drama will unfold live on SuperSport, with the enlarged squad set to be announced live on Saturday before the crucial draft pick next week.

    ‘This will not only be an opportunity to see the best of the best available in South Africa square off against each other in what promises to be something never seen before, but it will also provide the players with another valuable opportunity to shake off the rust and get the legs and lungs going after not playing any rugby in the last six months,’ Erasmus said.

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    Craig Lewis