- SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has said players will not be removed from their franchises for the coming week’s series of matches.
- The Sharks, who face the Bulls at Kings Park on Saturday in what will be an SA Rainbow Cup final, have nine players on the Springbok squad for the British and Irish Lions series.
- The threat of player injury is real, Duane Vermeulen limping on Friday against the Stormers is one example.
SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has said they will not remove Springbok players from the SA Rainbow Cup final round.
That means the Bulls and Sharks will be able to pick their best players for what will be the deciding game of the tournament when the teams meet at Kings Park on Saturday night.
The Sharks have nine players in the 46-man British and Irish Lions squad, including captain Lukhanyo Am, winger Makazole Mapimpi and free forward Siya Kolisi, who captain the Springbok.
The Bulls have four, but one of them, Duane Vermeulen, was injured in the Bulls’ 31-27 win over the Stormers on Friday night.
“It would be nice, but I’ve been on the other side of the franchise coaches wagon and they are coaches with families, contracts and performance clauses,” Erasmus said.
“It sounds very easy to do and I think we can, but we wouldn’t do it because we think it’s unfair.
“We quickly had to make a plan when we realized that we were going to have double-round tryouts for the local players, because those games were force on force.”
Erasmus said the withdrawal of players will put a lot of pressure on coaches to deliver results without their best players.
For example, Sean Everitt had to field a team without Curwin Bosch, Kolisi and Am for their game against the Lions on Saturday.
It was a game they won comfortably (33-21) at Ellis Park to make sure they were still in the game with a scream in the SA Rainbow Cup.
The Bulls, who have lost just four players to Bok’s team, are a much more difficult proposition to deal with and have had the Sharks’ measure.
“It will put a lot of coaches under pressure. [If] Morne Steyn had to rest for a match and was not part of the squad, “Erasmus said.
“You can understand what a local coach would think if I put a player down, only so that I don’t select that particular player. However, this was necessitated by the cancellation of the Rainbow Cup.
“In theory it works, but it puts coaches and a number of other stakeholders at a disadvantage.”
Thomas du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Frans Malherbe, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Joseph Dweba, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Scarra Ntubeni, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Franco Mostert, Marvin Orie, RG Snyman, Dan du Preez, Jean-Luc du Preez, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Rynhardt Elstadt, Siya Kolisi, Kwagga Smith, Marco van Staden, Duane Vermeulen, Jasper Wiese
Faf de Klerk, Herschel Jantjies, Sanele Nohamba, Cobus Reinach, Elton Jantjies, Handre Pollard, Morne Steyn, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Jesse Kriel, Wandisile Simelane, Frans Steyn, Aphelele Fassi, Cheslin Kolbe, Makazole Map le Rimpimp, , Sbu Nkosi, Yaw Penxe, Rosko Specman, Damian Willemse