SARU 'should look North'

2011-11-11 07:52

Cape Town - Saracens boss Edward Griffiths says the South African Rugby Union (SARU) should consider playing its international rugby in the Northern Hemisphere in future.

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Griffiths spoke to Die Burger newspaper at Thursday's announcement that Saracens will play French club Biarritz in a Heineken Cup match at the Cape Town Stadium on 14 January next year.

"This match paves the way for a relationship between South African rugby and the Heineken Cup.

"The Heineken Cup has the potential to become the strongest provincial competition in the world.

"It will be interesting to see if certain South African players, provinces, coaches and even fans feel it could provide more commercial opportunities and also that the travel burden of south to north will be easier than west to east."

The rugby schedule will be even more cramped next season. The Super Rugby competition will only end in early August - with a breather for Test matches in June - and there's also the extended Rugby Championship series (extension of the Tri-Nations with Argentina included) which starts in August.

Only time will tell whether player burnout due to too much rugby, and especially the long travel distances to Australasia, become too much to bear for players. A shift to the Northern Hemisphere in future might not be the worst possibility for SARU to again ponder over.

Former Springbok captain Morné du Plessis says the answer to player burnout could be to start playing a global rugby season.

"Rugby has been toying for long over the issue of player welfare due to too much rugby.

"The answer is to start playing in the same season worldwide," said Du Plessis.


  • Johan - 2011-11-11 08:01

    Errrr hows about no !!

      1nawty0 - 2011-11-11 08:46

      Actually Johan.... you wrong...!! there are certain benifits and I will name a few...!! 1) We continuously being shafted by other Sanzar nations (ie Australia now have a domestic competition and are stronger thanks to our idiot rugby bosses, and Saffas are not watching the Curry cup, look at attendance figures at the semi finals) 3) Super 15 now is crappy, because of so many games against local teams. 4) Now we helping Argentina make their teams stronger 5) There is more money for the players in the northern hemisphere 6) More money is an incentive for new players to play and earn a living off the sport, thereby keeping them in South Africa 7) Players would then be allowed to play for the springbok whilst playing in the northern hemisphere 8) Through all the above there would be more money to develop disadvantaged communities 9) We would have an opportunity to develop players of colour and thereby getting talent based on MERIT 10) More opportunity means less players will leave our shores to play for other countries. Think out the box...We have enough talent to play in both hemispheres, Pinky...." I think that in 5-10 years we would dominate the sport and rule the earth!"

      Gordon - 2011-11-11 09:38

      why is it always that non-white players needs to be developed? all players starting to play rugby now is starting on the same footing when picking up a ball for the first time, isn't it? Like Mr Belfour said when he was minister of sport, all players starting out at school level are development players, not only the player of colour and he was so right.

      Johan - 2011-11-11 11:14

      @1nawty0. Dude seriously you only end up the best if you play against the best and the best is in the southern hemisphere. nuff said !!

      Inky - 2011-11-12 13:42

      @ 1nawty0. Must agree with your comments. You have addressed most issues and I can add the time zone is more convenient for tv viewing as is the travelling time for the players, no jet lag! European rugby is getting better every year and the future of their rugby is positive since the introduction of the professional era.

  • Phumlani - 2011-11-11 08:09

    How about the Vodacom Cup teams join the Heineken cup? Surely our second tier players/teams are stronger than the Italian and Scottish teams in the competition?

      Wesley - 2011-11-11 10:33

      YES!!! Fantastic idea!!!! Will also be exposed to a more professional environment! and get better exposure! and make our selections wider! And our BOK team unstoppable!!!!!

      johannesvaneeden - 2011-11-13 22:15

      Excellent idea!!!

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2011-11-14 16:20

      you have obviously never watched the Heineken Cup... Our Super 15 sides would struggle against the top French/Irish/English/Welsh teams Prob beat them but some of these sides are quality. It's a competion involving 6 countries , max 2 hour flight and 1 hour time difference Can see it soon becoming the top rugby tournement in the near future The Super 15 is to long and supporter numbers will only go down

  • Lionel - 2011-11-11 08:59

    It will definetely ease the travel burden.Will the quality and opposition be as that of teams in the Southern Hemisphere???Somehow I dont think so...............

      Christopher - 2011-11-13 06:27

      If we ditch the Super 15 how long do you think it will be before most of the kiwis and aussies are playing up north as well? If SARU pull out of the S15 there won't be a real southern hemisphere tournament, and just to make things better our players won't have to fly around the world every second week. Would you rather watch your team playing other South African teams for most of the tournament or playing French, English, Irish and Welsh clubs? We can play in the Heineken cup and also have a real Currie Cup, sounds good to me?

  • stephencas - 2011-11-11 09:16

    money money money .... is rugby all about money???? good luck to players playing rugby in january in Cape Town and secondly our seasons (nort and south) are out of sync!!!!!

  • jacques.ackermann - 2011-11-11 12:59

    i have been calling this for a while now...SARU is being screwd over by SANZAR. we travel much more than the other 2 nations teams. we get the short end when it comes to hearings and citings ext. in terms of revune the NH is far more lucrative than the SH. that in return will enable us to hold onto our players and develop better structures as a result. i really hope SARU considers this move. the current super 15 does not suite south africa at all. after the all blacks cheated there way to the final i firmly believe we must take matters into our own hands and flip SANZAR the middle finger and move up north. i still do feel we need to be part of the now castle rugby champs with the pumas included. that will put us in the unique position of having to play against the top SH sides and play against the best in NH. 2 bites of the cherry to be accurate. we really really need to consider this move.

  • steven.chiaberta - 2011-11-11 18:00

    Gordon, as much as I wish it wasn't true, the fact remains that many of our coaches and selectors still cling to the old mind set and don't give non-white players the same opportunities as white players. I get the argument that only very few non-whites take up rugby, and that therefore there isn't that mythical 'massive pool of untapped talent' waiting to burst on to the scene and make us utterly dominant in world rugby (and cricket). But if the old mind set wasn't still substantially present we would see many, many more school and national age-group non-whites moving up into Currie Cup, Super and Springbok Rugby.

  • Te - 2011-11-12 03:13

    Agreed Boks should go, then they might win some trophies once in a while.

      Pieter - 2011-11-12 16:23

      Think how it will devastate NZ and Ausie rugby: 1) No more playing Bok-quality players every week to improve their own game; 2) Less money for development; 3) No more excellent SA referees to blow their games so that they can learn the rules of rugby - they don't have referees who can do this job for them!; 4) Less impact on the IRB, being isolated in their far corner of the globe. As for ourselves: 1) No more crossing time zones against the clock before games;2) Indeed more trophies in our cupboards; 3) Better referees when we play opponents; the NZ and Ausie ref's we have had to tolerate in the past few years being the pits; 4) Indeed less payers lost to European rugby because of the big bucks involved.

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2011-11-13 16:31

    Shrink the Super 15 back to 12 for a start. And please, do away with the "local derby" thing, the special thing about "Super" rugby is that we play overseas opponents, our local tourno is the Currie Cup - don't steal the Currie Cup from us fans! Limit Tri Nations to home and away games only (one each) Rugby is being watered down - I for one don't want to see rugby becoming like soccer with hundreds of match's - its just not special that way. More is less as they say - I say keep test match's as special events to look forward to - match's that you won't want to miss at any cost.

  • Sharkshoot - 2011-11-14 17:10

    Unless SARU stands up to the SANZAR cnuts and the Boks begin getting serious on the field and take no prisoners, yes we may as well look north. SARU are a bunch of cowards that bend over and over just to get the green stuff...and the Kiwis and Aussies laugh their heads off at us clowns year after year.

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