The New Zealand rugby team will have to spend an additional week in South Africa next year if SA administrators manage to push through a new proposal.
South Africans have been complaining for longer than a decade that the Springboks are at a disadvantage in the Tri-Nations series. Now there are plans to even out the disadvantages, writes Liam del Carne on www.news24.com.
“We have proposed to Sanzar that a bye be included when New Zealand tour South Africa next year,” Andy Marinos, manager of national teams, said on Wednesday.
The Springboks are on tour for three weeks when they play in Australasia. The New Zealand and Australian teams spend only about two weeks in South Africa for their two matches during an extended Tri-Nations series.
If the SA proposal is accepted, the New Zealanders will also experience a three-week tour.
“We (the Springboks) will then play the All Blacks twice and the Wallabies once just after the tour by the British and Irish Lions,” Marinos explained.
SA teams have complained since the start of the Sanzar (South Africa, Australia and New Zealand) competition that the travel commitments favour the Australasian teams.
Springbok coach Peter de Villiers also feels it is time to level the playing field.
“It (travelling) will always favour them,” De Villiers said on Wednesday. “When they come here, the time difference favours them. They gain a day but we lose a day when we fly there.
“Then you also have to play, for financial reasons, on consecutive Saturdays.”
South Africa played on three successive Saturdays when they went to Australasia this year. There had been talks about a bye during the tour but the idea was not approved.
“Sanzar consists of three countries and the profits and losses should be shared,” Marinos said. “From a business point of view it was too expensive to include a bye.
“During the first extended Tri-Nations series in 2006 the Springboks spent an additional week in Sydney. But it means the tour is then extended to five weeks.
“Some players who are involved in the Super 14 competition already have a tour of five or six weeks behind them (when the Tri-Nations start). It makes it more difficult; it’s six of the one and half a dozen of the other.”Tweet