The Crusaders’ Sam Whitelock says he misses the physicality of South African teams in Super Rugby, and is desperate for another opportunity to lock horns with them in SA.
The Vodacom Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers all left Super Rugby in 2020, following the global outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, choosing instead to do battle with some of Europe’s elite clubs in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.
New Zealand and Australian rugby bosses have looked to keep the Super Rugby competition alive, with the inclusion of Moana Pasifika and the Fijian Drua in the Super Rugby Pacific.
But, in yet another indictment on the level of competitiveness from the Australian franchises in the competition, Whitelock says he hoped to return to South Africa with the Crusaders in the future.
“South Africa, they play a certain style,” the All Blacks star said on Rugby Pass, in response to the absence of SA franchises in Super Rugby.
“They’ve got big, strong guys, that’s their strength, that’s the way they like to play. It is something that I do personally enjoy having in the Super Rugby environment because they’re hard to play against.
“Going over there travelling, it’s an awesome place to travel to, but, also, it’s very hard to play there.
“It’s something that I’ve been lucky enough to have in my career so far, and hopefully we can get back at some stage, whether that carries on as Rugby Championship or Super Rugby.”