Losing SA teams will be disastrous

Wed, 05 Apr 2017 13:16

SUPER RUGBY RESHUFFLE: The calls for an Australasian only competition will be a "disaster" according to Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie. Tauriq Ebrahim reports.

Rennie's team is in South Africa preparing for a crucial encounter against the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday, April 8.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Rennie felt that South Africa's involvement in the competition has been crucial to the All Blacks' success.

However, he does feel that cutting one South African side could be beneficial to the country in the long run.

"The only ones saying there should be an Australasian competition are the Australians and it would be a disaster if South African teams were not involved in Super Rugby. In the end, it's [South African teams' involvement] what makes the competition special.

"The reason why the All Blacks have been successful against the Springboks [in South Africa] is because you have guys who come over here regularly and playing at altitude.

"I know they [SANZAAR] are trying to expand it [with the inclusion of the Jaguares and the Sunwolves] but you want to make sure it's a premier competition in the world. There will be a couple of teams culled but it would make those countries stronger, maybe South Africa and Australia having one less side each will be better for them in the long term," Rennie said.

Despite returning to the venue where they enjoyed a resounding 60-21 victory in the 2016 quarterfinals, Rennie is well aware that the Stormers are going to be a different prospect this time.

"They are a good a side and will be really confident because they are playing good footy and it's always a big challenge coming to Newlands to play them. So, we are well aware of the challenge ahead of us but the boys are looking forward to it.

"Maybe we surprised them a bit last year but we won't be able to do that this time. They [Stormers] seem pretty fit because they are playing the type of game where they are keeping the ball alive and scoring some outstanding tries. No doubt they are playing more footy and are well conditioned.

"The Stormers has always been a highly skilled type of team, so for a lot of years, they have been the benchmark of the South African teams. We are not surprised with what we are seeing from them and I am certain that Paul [Feeney] is having a bit of an influence

"They are certainly the form team in their Pool [conference], so we will respect that and prepare accordingly," he added.

By Tauriq Ebrahim

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