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Boks consider Grand Slam tour

2009-12-08 22:28

Stephen Nell

Cape Town – Is it a potential opportunity to make history or rugby suicide 10 months before the kick-off of the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand?

That is the question being raised about a possible Grand Slam tour for the Springboks in November next year.

South Africa and Ireland, who are currently considered to be the best team in Europe, have already arranged a fixture on November 6 outside the International Rugby Board’s (IRB) international window.

Apart from that fixture, there are possible Tests against Scotland, Wales and England.

However, the schedule has not yet been confirmed and there is talk that a second match against Wales may replace the match against Scotland.

SA Rugby’s head of communications, Andy Colquhoun, confirmed on Tuesday that a game is being planned against Ireland to open the new Lansdowne Road Stadium.

It will also apparently be a financially rewarding exercise for both rugby unions.

But what price will the Boks pay for a difficult programme and the pressure they will be exposed to 10 months before they defend their world crown?

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers did not want to comment.

“He prefers not to comment now because the Test schedule for 2010 still has to be confirmed and he is not sure whether it will be a Grand Slam tour as there may be two Welsh Tests and no Scottish Test,” said Springbok spokesperson Anthony Mackaiser.

De Villiers did emphasise in a recent press release how important it will be to manage players with an eye to the 2011 World Cup.

“It is very important that we monitor players in training with the long term in mind,” said De Villiers.

“This (2009) was a very long season and it’s clear that the players are mentally and physically fatigued.

“The biggest worry is the cumulative effect of the amount of rugby the Springboks have played over the last three years. As we know, they now run the risk of injuries the following year.

“If we want to get the best out of our players in 2011, we will have to manage their training and playing time carefully in 2010.”

Should the Boks get a Grand Slam tour, it will nevertheless be an opportunity to make history.

South Africa embarked on Grand Slam tours in 1998 and 2004, but have not been able to beat all four mentioned countries on a single tour since returning from isolation.

South Africa last won a Grand Slam in 1960-1961.

Meanwhile, the South African Rugby Union’s interim executive council meets in George tomorrow to decide which stadiums will host the two June Tests against Italy next year.

The Tests cannot be played in major centres because of the Soccer World Cup.

It is believed that Witbank and Potchefstroom are possible venues.

South Africa want to play their other Test in June against France at Newlands, but reports have suggested it may be shifted to Wembley in London.

Sport24

Comments
  • Go for it! - 2009-12-09 00:47

    It will be a great opportunity for Pieter de Villiers to finalise his WC group. Surely the Boks will be excused from the 2011 S14 and CCup and from most of the games? Surely the franchises can work together with the Boks once in every four years and forget about provincialism?

  • ouklip - 2009-12-09 01:18

    Instead of the UK why not the USA| for the French test. That will far more neutral than London.

  • Tommygun - 2009-12-09 03:26

    This could be a case of lets shoot ourselves in the foot. If it is a grand slam tour we will need to take the best team with the genuine backup players chosen, not the brainless shambles that has just occured. If it is not a grand slam tour, give the big guns a break and select the next best with fire and passion and a point to prove.

  • glen - 2009-12-09 06:40

    MADNESS , Have the chaps lost there marbles, They will loss all 4 games and the world cup ,then we will see PvD real coaching abillity.

  • glen - 2009-12-09 06:48

    I'm affraid to say that we have seen the last of this great Springbok team. It will never repeat what it's done in the past..PvD biggest challenge is going to be able to find black players to keep the ANC happy .

  • Bok suporter - 2009-12-09 07:41

    why do they always want to move the rugby for for the soccer. bafana ia pathetic losers. the boks always keep sa name high. bafana is loosing all the time.

  • Jawellnofine - 2009-12-09 07:50

    Idiots...already the players are the milk cows of SARFU. If they do this they should identify the CORRECT youngsters and send a developmental side, much like the NH teams do in their June/July tours. Results should not matter, although say that to any rugby fan! What should matter is battle hardening the squad for the RWC in NZ.

  • GeePMB - 2009-12-09 08:06

    Don't do the tour - forget about "making histrory" and rest the players after a long season!

  • Kapenaar - 2009-12-09 08:21

    Why not give the Cape more games? Why play in Witbank or Potch? Why not Paarl, or George, or Stellenbosch? We missed out on the Lions tour, the Confed Cup, the Champions Trophy? Are there political reasons why the Cape does not host more big matches? If so, I'm voting ANC in the next elections...

  • ray - 2009-12-09 08:22

    @bok supporter.... When last did this happen? Dont be narrow minded, the soccer world cup is the best thing that has happened to this country in a while, no matter if bafana bafana are loosers. But the bigger picture is, All blacks, Aussies, are going to be playing the same amount of rugby, as they did this year. The thing is, the all blacks never moaned about fatigue, they flattened everyone in their path on the end of year tour. we moaned, and did not stratagise properly, with one predictable game plan. Player management and strategy will be key.

  • CAZ - 2009-12-09 08:29

    money money.......

  • @ray - 2009-12-09 08:47

    No the AB's played less, At half time dutring the AB v France game Brad Thorne had played 1000 minutes. Compared to senior Boks who by the time the Ireland game rolled around had played 2000 minutes. Go do the sums! The Aussies do not have a domestic competition that compares to the Curry Cup/NPC. Yes mangement plays a part but do your research properly

  • jackey - 2009-12-09 09:06

    @Boksupporter..Ii hope you are aware that the SWC is coming next year, So yes rugby has to make way for soccer, but in normal terms , its in fact the other way around, So stop moaning about the stupid test @ Newlands, which is not a World Cup venue and focus on the bigger picture here !!!!!!!

  • Vuvuzela Man - 2009-12-09 09:22

    @Bok suporter-What has this got to do with Bafana Bafana? Please don't start.Firstly you can't even spell your name correctly.The SWC is the biggest sporting event ever to be staged in RSA,soccer is the biggest played and supported sport in the world.Rugby is very little compared to soccer,not as much had to be done even in '95 to prepare for the Rugby World Cup here. In fact many of these respectful and patriotic rugby supporters should feel insulted that they have a rugby fan like you among them who every now and then would declare his love for his country but will turn around and jibe at another sporting code of the same country. Even Ozzie rugby and cricket supporters don't throw stones at their soccer side even though the first two have lifted the world cup trophies but never soccer. In other words my friend you are worse than an Ozzie.

  • Look Abrod PDV - 2009-12-09 09:28

    South Africa has enough class players in Europe to make up an entire Springbok side that should thrash England,Wales.Ireland,Scotland!! If PDV just put his pride in his pocket and used them and managed all the players correctly he would find that South Africa could actually play rugby 12 months of the year. However he has what is commonly known as SMS (small minded syndrome) and cant think outside of the box!! The only problem he would find by doing this is that in actual fact we have better players in Europe in many positions than we do back home!!! Now this would put him in a pickle and confuse the socks of him and he would not know what direction to turn as per usual!!!

  • Gerald - 2009-12-09 11:53

    Soccer is a sport for bums. The world is obviously of 'em. Even Grid Iron is better.

  • Vuvuzela Man - 2009-12-09 12:39

    @Gerald-Is that so? And rugby is gay!

  • Idiots - 2009-12-09 14:38

    We can't even beat 2 of the NH club sides but now we suddenly feel the Grand Slam should be attempted. What a pathetic thought!!!! @Gerald... and you are pumpkin!! Let every individual enjoy their personal sporting preferrance. Current our beloved rugby is far from perfect so bad mouthing other sports will just burn your fingers!!!!!

  • mack the blue - 2009-12-09 15:38

    The 'BOKS already made history by loosing 4 of thier 5 games to sides not even worth mentioning,mission accomplished- names made gat !AND ,another thing ,all the other nations played just as much ,so put that excuse aside !

  • Vernon - 2009-12-09 16:09

    How do the Boks want to win a Grand Slam tour, if they can't win Leicester and Saracens..?? ..It will be a disaster, ..again..

  • semperfimamba - 2009-12-09 16:38

    Damn but you south africans are some pessimistic/negative peeps for sure...hahaha...i mean the BOK's had a freeking excellent year and all you can do is moan bout them losing to club teams, the froggies and those paddys...c'mon now a lil perspective perhaps? Holla...

  • 2011 - 2009-12-10 15:23

    Total suicide send a second string team of fringe player and rest our top players please!

  • Stompie van Amstel - 2009-12-11 03:15

    Don't these people learn from their mistakes? This end of year tour was a disaster, and now they want a tougher one, righT before the World Cup? Don't just think with your pocket, do what is best for S.A. rugby and leave the Grand Slam tour for a year AFTER the World Cup.

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