Naas supports Div snub
Cape Town - Legendary Springbok flyhalf Naas Botha supports Western Province in their decision not to release their defence coach, Jacques Nienaber, to assist the Springboks for the Tri-Nations.
Bok coach, Peter de Villiers, met with Nienaber earlier this week to hear if he could offer his assistance to the national team.
Nienaber was called upon after the Springboks struggled with their defence on the away leg of the Tri-Nations and conceded 10 tries in three Tests.
Western Province however decided that it would not be in their best interest if they released Nienaber to the Boks at this a critical stage in their Currie Cup campaign. Botha say’s he agrees with WP’s senior professional coach Rassie Erasmus that Nienaber’s absence will cause disruptions in die WP camp in the middle of the Currie Cup season.
“WP is right!” Botha said on Thursday.
“You cannot suddenly decide when someone is doing something successful, that person should leave his work to help you out.”’
Botha believes the Springboks should have planned much better.
“That is just the way things are done in the professional era. Jacques is contracted by WP until 2012 and is doing outstanding work there.
“I believe your country should come first, but then the Boks should have contracted him as a defensive consultant in December last year already.
“When things are not going your way, you cannot suddenly expect to get someone to leave their job to come help you when you are in trouble.
“If the kickers in the Bok side are struggling, they cannot unexpectedly ask me to assist. Things simply don’t work that way,” said Botha.
The former Bok-pivot believes Western Province are the favourites to beat the Blue Bulls in a Currie Cup clash at Newlands on Saturday especially after they hammered Griquas by 50-3 in Kimberley last week.
“The way WP have been playing of late, they should have enough firepower to beat the Bulls. With the Boks not available, the Bulls are perhaps without two thirds of their side whereas Province is without one third of their first choice side. But that is not an excuse. That is the system and you have to play the system.
“Make no mistake WP is playing good rugby. Even though it is still early in the competition, they say the early bird always catches the worm. I believe it is going to take a tremendous effort to beat them at Newlands,” he added.