'Boks closing gap on All Blacks'

    2015-04-30 11:48

    Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says the agreement between the SA franchises and SARU to rest top Springboks during this year’s Super Rugby competition will reap rewards.

    Coetzee believes the All Blacks have always had the advantage over their counterparts because of the NZRU’s central contracting system, which allows them to rest their players as they please.

    However, this year SARU managed to reach an agreement with the SA franchises which sees no Springbok player playing more than five consecutive Super Rugby games.

    For most parts, the franchises have adhered to SARU’s request.

    “In the past, New Zealand was collectively better off because of their contracting system and conditioning coaches who were paid by the national rugby union to work with the franchises. I think we’ve closed that gap and that’s the way things should work going forward,” Coetzee told Netwerk24.

    The franchises have also agreed to release their players for national camps in Johannesburg (May 3-6) and Cape Town (May 31-June 3).

    The first camp will affect the Stormers’ preparations for their match against the Brumbies at Newlands on Saturday, May 9, but Coetzee said they have already started preparing accordingly.

    “We’ve agreed to it and I’m sure Heyneke Meyer (Bok coach) will bear in mind that some of the players may be weary. We’re looking after our Boks and we expect the same to happen at the national camps.”

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