Currie Cup

Rhodes backs no Boks scenario

2014-10-23 09:13
Michael Rhodes (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Western Province flank Michael Rhodes is happy with the fact that the Springboks aren't allowed to return during the latter rounds of the Currie Cup.

In 2014, the South African Rugby Union pulled all contracted Springboks out of the Currie Cup after it became the norm for them to return to the competition after the completion of the Rugby Championship.

Rhodes was speaking to Die Burger ahead of Saturday's Currie Cup final between his side and the Golden Lions at Newlands.

He said the fact that no Springboks have returned to play the last few rounds of the competition has given his team more continuity.

"It's always tough when the Springboks return, like what happened to us last year (WP lost the 2013 final 33-19 to the Sharks). It could work, but it could also backfire."

Rhodes was part of the Golden Lions team that beat WP in the 2011 Currie Cup semi-finals when the Cape side picked numerous Springboks who returned from that year's World Cup in New Zealand. The following week he helped his side upset a Springbok-laden Sharks side in the final.

The Lions, who were heavy underdogs in that final, thrashed the Sharks 42-16.

That final was an example of how continuity in a team could help. The Sharks had several players returning from Springbok duty and just couldn't gel against their less-fancied opponents, who had very few Boks among their ranks.

The last time Western Province and the Lions met in a Currie Cup final was way back in 1986, when the hosts beat the then Transvaal 22-9 at Newlands.

Kick-off for Saturday's clash is scheduled for 17:00.

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