Cape Town - Contracted Springboks will no longer be able to go and play in Japan at the tail-end of the South African season, a report in the Rapport newspaper indicates.
The newspaper is reporting that Springbok players will need to be rested in October according to a clause in their contracts.
The clause states that Springboks with joint SA Rugby and provincial union contracts will also not play in this year’s Currie Cup.
South Africa’s final Rugby Championship game is against the All Blacks on October 8, before the players will be rested for two weeks before returning to training for the end-of-year tour to Europe.
“The clause was added so that we can ensure the team is better managed,” an informed source told the newspaper.
“Due to the fact that the contracted Boks have to rest in October and tour Europe in November, it leaves them with no space to play in Japan, because players (according to Japanese rugby bosses) are not allowed to only report (to their clubs in Japan) in December.”
Several top Springboks, including Handre Pollard, Eben Etzebeth, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende and Willie le Roux, played club rugby in Japan after last year’s Rugby World Cup.
The lack of an off-season appeared to impact negatively on Pollard, who upon his return to the Bulls tore his knee ligaments in training and was ruled out for the year.
De Allende was also injured in Japan and only expected to return to action in April.