While the ongoing Rugby Championship scheduling stand-off continues between New Zealand and SANZAAR, South Africa have been preparing themselves for the unexpected.
Certainly not a bad call, given South Africa’s limited time to prepare.
Speaking to reporters via a virtual conference, Springboks Duane Vermeulen admitted they would be at a disadvantage.
But also revealed they sole focus is the Currie Cup for now.
“As a player, you have to be adaptable when you get an opportunity to play,” Vermeulen said.
“Obviously, its difficult circumstances and something everyone is just getting used to, but as players, we have to be adaptable.
“We still don’t know what is going to happen, so we can only focus on what we can control and we can only control the now.
“The only thing we are focussing on now is the Currie Cup, which has been cleared by SA Rugby, and we are not thinking too far ahead”
He added: “‘If the Rugby Championship does go ahead, though, we would be going in with a bit of a disadvantage – as we are just starting a competition, while in Australia and New Zealand have been playing for the last 10 or 11 weeks and already finished their domestic tournaments.
“It would be difficult for us as players, as there was talk from the medical side that you’d need to ideally have played 400-plus minutes before going into an international competition.
“However, as I said, there are others who will decide the way forward.”
Springboks flyhalf Elton Jantjies shared Vermeulen’s sentiments.
The Springboks’ participation in the Rugby Championships has not been confirmed and SA Rugby bosses have pencilled in October 10 to make a call.
“Whether we go to the Rugby Champions or not, the decision is up to the coaches,” Jantjies said, adding: “They are obviously preparing for both scenarios.
“This week is a big week in terms of the old faces and new faces getting alignment and understanding what it takes to be Springbok.
“Having said that our main focus is the Currie Cup ahead,
“And certainly can’t say a lot about the Rugby Champs, but I’m pretty sure the coaches and players are prepared if the Rugby Championships happens.”
– Leezil Hendricks/Rugby365
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now