Former Springbok captain Wynand Claassen believes South
Africa should skip this year’s Rugby Championship and focus on the 2021 British
& Irish Lions tour.
While the announcement that the 2020 Rugby Championship would be held in Australia from 7 November to 12 December was made by Sanzaar on Friday morning, it was also confirmed that the Springboks’ participation in the tournament was still to be confirmed, dependent on several factors. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 ticketson our website on exclusively discounted prices.
Claassen says travelling to Australia to compete in the Rugby
Championship will not be in the best interest of the Springboks and that SA
Rugby should take a stand and withdraw from the competition at least for this
‘I honestly believe they should not play in the Championship;
it simply doesn’t make any sense to me,’ Claassen told The Citizen.
‘If one thinks that New Zealand and Australia have been
playing their domestic rugby for the last two months and our rugby hasn’t even
restarted yet, we would definitely be underprepared.
‘What will happen if we again give 50 points away to New
Zealand, like what happened in 2016 and 2017 – who will be blamed?
‘We’ve got more to lose by playing in the Championship. We
must remember that we are the World Cup champs, the No 1 ranked team in the
world and the Rugby Championship holders,’ he said.
‘One has to understand that because of Covid-19 we haven’t
been able to restart our local game, but it is what it is and we just have to
move on and forget about the Rugby Championship for this year.
‘SA Rugby must just take a stand and decide what is in the
best interests of the Boks and their legacy. Yes, money talks, but it’s not all
about money; there are many more factors at play.’
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Legendary British and Irish Lions captain Willie John McBride has savagely attacked modern rugby, claiming that it has become an unedifying mix of union, league and American football that is being ruined by an injury crisis and the dominance of money. Rugby enthusiasts can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.
Captain of the famous 1974 Lions that conquered South
Africa, McBride went international 17 times for tourists on five separate
tours, while also winning 63 matches for Ireland before retiring in 1975.
Now in his 80s, he has not struck out in the foreword to
Saving Rugby Union, the newly published book written by Ross Reyburn and
published by Y Lolfa that tackles the myriad of issues that affect the best
development of professional rugby.
In addition to facing the lack of space and high injury rate
in rugby today, Lions King McBride also lamented the collapse mechanics,
crooked feeding at scrum time, the excessive prevalence of replacements and the
ease with which players can change nationality.
Willie John McBride
McBride wrote: Rugby today is nothing like the game I
played. It is a mix of rugby union and rugby league, which is heavily
influenced by rugby union, with players lined up on the field against each
other, and American football, with obstruction and blocking.
In the modern game, you can theoretically hold the ball for
40 minutes with endless phases. In the amateur era, once you got down on the
ground, you had to drop the ball and escape. The players could then roll over
Today when the guys go to the ground, they are still holding
on to the ball and putting it back with their hands. It allows the sides to
hold the ball during phase after phase, as it is very difficult for defenders
to catch the ball at half-time. It is absolutely ridiculous.
There were never any serious injuries in the rucks because
you really had to drop the ball and get away to avoid getting the rake back. If
he clings to the ball, he will be penalized.
Today there are more and more pile-ups with knees and elbows
hitting other players, causing injuries. Referees explode for a scrum when the
ball is buried in a pile of bodies. This just wouldn’t happen in a ruck
situation when playing.
On the breakdown, I just don’t understand why people are
tackling players who don’t have the ball. It is not a sport, they are just
attacking people to get them out. Surely the law says that you cannot tackle a
player who does not have the ball.
“Any game has to do with space. The modern game is about closing the gap with players lined up on the field due to the rugby phase. The only thing that surprises me is why they changed our game.”
British and Irish Lions legend McBride
Addressing the rising injury rate, Lions legend McBride added: “There is an injury crisis in rugby. You watch all the international matches that are played. How many do you see that are injury-free? I think every player should be playing 80 minutes unless he has to leave the field injured. I played for 14 years and never left the field in my life.”
I’ve seen young boys from academies who have been told,
‘You’re too light. You have to put two stones to be successful. The children
are growing up. They eat all these food supplements that I call drugs and doing
all these weights. Your bones cannot support what your muscles demand. This is
bad. The only thing they taught me when I was little was to be flexible. They
are tied to the muscles and are more prone to injury.
It is terrible to see all these people running and on the
field in an international match. Recently, a player was signed with one minute
to go, there could be no difference in the result. I once asked my old
adversary Colin Meads how you would feel if they took you with 20 minutes to
go. I can’t repeat what he said, but it was pretty much “you can fill the
I also find it unsettling how easily players can change
their national allegiance. It devalues international rugby. When Wales defeated
Ireland 25-7 in the 2019 Six Nations, all Welsh points were scored by two New
Zealanders, Gareth Anscombe and Hadleigh Parkes. That cannot be correct.
If you play for Ireland, you should have Irish blood running
through your veins. The residential rating should be ten years and that would
leave players playing for a country when they don’t have an immediate family
connection. The only thing the Irish Rugby Union got right is that they own the
players. England was stupid, as the RFU allowed the Premiership clubs to take
control of the players. That is over.
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