RWC no distraction in Super Rugby
Cape Town - While South African players from three unions are fighting
for playoff places in Super Rugby this season, there is also the small matter
of 2015 being a World Cup year.
The international showpiece takes place in September and
October in England, and with a Bok training camp earlier this month seeing in
excess of 40 players taking part (while many didn’t train), time is running out
for players to put their hands up and command Heyneke Meyer’s attention.
And so, with Super Rugby approaching its business end, how
does a player focus wholeheartedly on his franchise when at least part of his
mind is likely to be occupied with staying fit and in form for the World Cup?
According to Stormers coach Allister Coetzee, franchise
success and World Cup selection go hand-in-hand.
“We understand that it’s a World Cup year and that it’s
massively important for the players to get into the World Cup squad,” said
“But it’s our duty as a franchise to do well. When we do
well, and we finish in the playoffs and we go all the way in this competition …
do you think you will not have a look-in in the Bok selection?
“But if you don’t do well and you finish in a poor streak
then no one looks at you as an individual. It’s important for the team to function
for the individual to look good and get recognised.”
The Stormers boss added that the presence of senior players
in his squad had made the adjustment of a World Cup year easier.
“It’s good to have players who have been there and done it
before. Schalk has been (to a World Cup) and they (experienced players) know it
is important for them (the other players) to perform here,” said Coetzee.
“You can’t cruise now and then think you’re going to hit
your straps in a World Cup – it’s a different competition altogether.”
The Stormers take on the Rebels at Newlands on Saturday,
kick-off is at 19:10.