SARU: Boks won't rest players
Johannesburg - The Springboks will not rest players en masse for this year's Tri-Nations, SARU CEO Jurie Roux says.
But the World Champions may be forced to give certain players an enforced break in part of the competition to ensure they had not been overplayed.
Roux rejected the suggestion the Boks would not send their best team to the Tri-Nations, resting players ahead of this year's massive Rugby World Cup.
The SARU CEO said it was against the tournament rules to weaken squads. But he added that SARU would be looking at player welfare as well.
"It has been decided from the beginning, we can't rest a number of players - it is against the agreement of the Tri-Nations and against the rules of the competition," Roux told SuperSport.com
"What we well will be doing - what New Zealand and Australia are both doing as well - is to monitor the number of minutes that key players have been playing. We will look at this and determine then when a player needs a rest and if he can be given that rest."
According to Roux, a lot will depend about how the key franchises do in the final rounds of this year's Vodacom Super Rugby. Good results will obviously mean several Bok players will be involved longer than others.
At the moment, South Africa has the chance of getting three teams into the six playoff spots, with the majority of the Bok team being among those three franchises. If results do go their way, and we even see a repeat of last year's Super Rugby final, where the Bulls beat the Stormers, then it will make it difficult to send the same players overseas a week or two later for a Tri-Nations battle.
Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has already indicated that players will be monitored and managed according to their workloads, to ensure that a fully rested and fit team takes the plane to New Zealand at the end of August.
"It depends on the Super Rugby competition at this point - certain players will be given a rest, and others, who need can't afford to be given a rest because of the pressures on their teams," Roux added.
"If a team goes through to a semi or final, then we will have to take a more in depth look at those particular players, especially the senior players who will need a rest."