The Citizen (KZN)

Swys is leaning towards Pro-14


- Rudolph Jacobs

It could serve the best interests of South African rugby to make the move up north, says Swys de Bruin, the former Lions Super Rugby head coach. De Bruin did say, however, one has to be clear whether SA will make a clean break from Sanzaar and pull out of both the Rugby Championsh­ip and Super Rugby in favour of the Six Nations and Pro14 competitio­ns.

“I think there’s no reason why we can’t stay in the Championsh­ip but move away from Super Rugby to join the Pro14,” said De Bruin, who now spends his time teaching school coaches.

“In that way we can still face New Zealand and Australia in Test matches but rather compete in the Pro14 which is probably better suited to our game,” he said.

The latest talk from Europe is that the Boks won’t be in action in the Eight-Nations after it was speculated that Georgia, and not SA, would replace Japan in that competitio­n.

Sanzaar also stated that the Championsh­ip is still due to go ahead as planned, but questions had been raised whether New Zealand would still be able to host the tournament from 7 November to 12 December after their latest series of positive Covid-19 cases.

“My understand­ing was that we only planned to play in the Eight-Nations Championsh­ip because of the Covid-19 situation and travel restrictio­ns, but that we were due to resume playing in the Rugby Championsh­ip from next year again,” said De Bruin.

The former Bok backline consultant, however, said there was no doubt in his mind it would be more beneficial for SA teams to join the Pro14, rather than staying in Super Rugby.

“It makes all the sense in the world – there would be much less travel involved as well as jetlag bearing in mind we spent about 17 hours flying to New Zealand for Super Rugby matches,” he said.

“I’m also confident that playing in the Pro14 would suit our game much better with SA teams building their strength around good tight phases, a powerful rolling maul and sound defence, which are the cornerston­es of rugby in the Pro14,” added De Bruin.

“One must also remember that most of our Bok players are based in Europe and Japan which would make it easier if players were called up for Bok duty.”

 ?? Picture: Gallo Images ?? SWYS DE BRUIN
Picture: Gallo Images SWYS DE BRUIN

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