Peter de Villiers said on Monday that the Emerging Springboks’ participation in the IRB Nations Cup in Romania may be in jeopardy.
The Springbok coach said he had become aware of objections by Currie Cup unions that they stand to lose players to the Emerging Springboks who will be playing in Romania from June 11-20, according to News24.
Many unions have already been hit hard by call-ups to the Springboks during the Currie Cup season.
The Springboks training camp will be releasing a number of players after Wednesday’s announcement of the first Test squad. Some of these players will be taken up into the Emerging Springbok squad, and the rest will return to their unions for Currie Cup duty.
“I am just waiting to see what’s going to happen with the Emerging Boks, if it is still going to happen or not,” said De Villiers.
Unions want Currie Cup players
“I want the succession plan to work, and that’s why I would like to see some players going to the Emerging Boks. At this camp the players have learnt how the Boks work, and now it will be good for them to get the feeling of competition with the Emerging Boks.”
De Villiers said a few unions did not want to release players because they were needed for Currie Cup duty. The Emerging Springbok squad are expected to start training soon after Wednesday’s announcement that would mean players will miss out on a Currie Cup pre-season build-up and warm-up matches.
“We don’t want to send a mediocre team out to the IRB competition,” said De Villiers. “We (South Africa) are a proud nation, proud of what we are doing. Rugby is our religion.
Just an hour after De Villiers’ expressed his fears about the Emerging Boks, SA Rugby’s communications department sent out of reminder that the Emerging Boks squad will be announced on Wednesday at Somerset West, possibly as a reaction to De Villiers’ comments earlier in the day.
The Emerging Boks are the reigning IRB Nations Cup champions.Tweet