Eng­land to face un­der-strength Boks

Cyprus Today - - SPORT -

ENG­LAND will face an un­der-strength South Africa next month af­ter Premier­ship Rugby re­it­er­ated its pol­icy not to re­lease English-based Spring­boks for the match.

It means the Boks will be with­out stars in­clud­ing Sale scrum-half Faf de Klerk and Wasps full-back Wil­lie le Roux.

The match on Novem­ber 3 at Twick­en­ham takes place out­side World Rugby’s in­ter­na­tional win­dow.

World Rugby rules say clubs do not have to re­lease play­ers out­side the win­dow.

A spokesman for Premier­ship Rugby — the um­brella body for the top English clubs — told the BBC its pol­icy “is only to re­lease play­ers un­der World Rugby Reg­u­la­tion 9”.

Bath back-row for­ward François Louw, Glouces­ter lock Franco Mostert and Sara­cens prop Vin­cent Koch will also be un­avail­able to Spring­bok boss Rassie Eras­mus.

All five play­ers fea­tured in last week­end’s thrilling 32-30 de­feat by New Zealand, a game that con­firmed South Africa’s re-emer­gence as a rugby su­per­power fol­low­ing the vic­tory over the All Blacks in Welling­ton three weeks ear­lier.

Spring­bok great Bryan Ha­bana, a World Cup win­ner in 2007, told the Rugby Union Weekly pod­cast that South Africa are well placed to com­pete in Ja­pan next year.

“I will never for­get in 2006 we lost 49-0 against Aus­tralia in Bris­bane, and a year later we won the World Cup,” Ha­bana said.

“I think this side is in a bet­ter po­si­tion than what we were in 2007. Long may this suc­cess­ful progress con­tinue.”

Wales will also be with­out a host of English­based play­ers when they face Scot­land on the same day in Novem­ber.

Northamp­ton and Bath have pre­vi­ously both been fined by Premier­ship Rugby for re­leas­ing Ge­orge North and Taulupe Fale­tau re­spec­tively out­side the Test win­dow.

How­ever, the body says it is un­aware of any clubs plan­ning to con­tra­vene the pol­icy this au­tumn.

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