Former Springbok captain Wynand Claassen believes the Springboks should not play in this year’s Rugby Championship. In an interview with The Citizen, Claassen said the Boks will be too under-prepared for the tournament.

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Australia was picked over New Zealand to host the coronavirus-affected Rugby Championship on Friday with Springboks participation still in doubt due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement that the event would be held in Australia from November 7 to December 12 was made by SANZAAR on Friday. However Jurie Roux (SA Rugby CEO) cautioned that the participation of defending champions, South Africa, still had to be confirmed.

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“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 under-prepared.”

Claassen believes things could get ugly on the field for the Boks should they participate.

“What will happen if we again give 50 points away to New Zealand, like what happened in 2016 and 2017; who will be blamed?” he asked.

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“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.

“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,” he said.

Claassen added: “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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