Originally Posted by Ozzy Biz
And what about South Africa? Not naming their top 9 players to tour. There is talk of RSA being removed from the Tri-Nations; NZ and Aus have voiced their opinions about it being disrespectable and destroying the integrity of the world game. Will be interesting to see the outcome of it all. Hopefully they get smashed by the Kiwis and us... (hopefully!)
I agree it's a little disappointing. But it's World Cup year and our top Bok players are completely spent. You must remember that we have a very tough domestic competition in the Currie Cup (which Aus doesn't have) followed by the Super14 (in which our top two Bok-feeder teams, Bulls & Sharks, contested the semis and finals) followed immediately by three internationals in consecutive weeks followed by 4 Tri-Nations games followed by the WC. No break since the beginning of the year. No other country has it this bad in the build-up to the WC. There is no way we would ever be able to take close to a full-strength squad to France without some kind of rest and reconditioning break.
And this touring team only has 2 new caps (tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis and flyhalf Peter Grant). The rest are all existing Springboks. So I wouldn't write them off too quickly.
Also, no one threatened IRB action when England sent a third team to SA a few weeks ago, for exactly the same (World Cup) reasons. Or when France sent their second stringers to NZ. Even the Welsh team that toured Australia now weren't full-strength. Ditto for the Irish in Argentina. And Graham Henry's "squad rotation" policy for the All Blacks the past 2 seasons is well known (and widely praised). Seems the rules are a little different when you're the All Blacks.