The men in charge of South African rugby seem dead set on making life as complicated for themselves as possible, with another logistical blunder awaiting us once the Super Rugby league stage is complete.
SARU has announced that the promotion/relegation match in which the Lions will play against the lowest finishing South African franchise for a spot in next year’s competition, is to be played over the same weekend as that of the Super Rugby play-offs.
If it hasn’t clicked yet, that would mean that loaned Lions players plying their trade at other Unions, would have to return to the Lions before the actual completion of the Super Rugby tournament, to represent their union in the all-important match.
Now the Sharks are in a position that they would lose the on loan Franco van der Merwe at a critical point in the competition, while the Stormers would lose Jaco Taute and Martin Bezuidenhout should he still be in the Cape, and the Bulls Callie Visagie and Lionel Mapoe.
All three those teams have a pretty good chance of being involved in the last few weekends of Super Rugby and it could be a huge blow to their momentum if they suddenly have to change combinations and bring in second choice players. One has to wonder whether these teams would have loaned the players had they known this move back at a critical stage of the tournament was on the cards.
You would notice that the players above specifically exclude Elton Jantjies. Only once I started digging (thank you Mr Otto) did it come about that Jantjies signed a Super Rugby contract with the Stormers that will keep him there until the completion of the Super Rugby tournament.
This raises the question – Why did the other teams not think of this, and more importantly, if the Stormers did think of this, why did they not sign Jaco Taute on a similar deal?
One can only speculate as to what happened behind closed doors, but there are numerous reasons that Jantjies’ deal is so different from the others, but I will leave that thinking up to you…Tweet