It shul come as no surprise that teh All Blacks coach Ian Foster spoke about how he feels the loss of South African franchises had it’s part to play in the All Blacks game.
It is someting we and many other SA websites and magazines have been speaking about since NZRU decided to throw everybody under the bus to look at number 1 first when COVID hit the world. At some stage Australia wanted to pull out of the Trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition as NZRU tried to force them into a competition which was not going to benifit a struggling Australian rugby Union.
South Africans have been complaining for years about the travel issues in Super Rugby which was always against the SA Franchises. Eventually they took their bags and went up north and are now involved in the newly formed United Rugby Championship which include the four SA Franchises and the old PRO12 teams from Italy, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Although the competition have been difficult to get going do to COVID regulations it seems that the time zone and travel time will be much better for teh SA product and that it is a strong competition which can be develop in one of the better competitions around.
Forster believes the lack of the South African teams involvement in their Super Rugby have had an effect on NZ rugby. He said to Stuff.co.zm that they definitly missed playing the SA teams in Super Rugby.
The physicality the SA teams brings to any game is something that challenge teams all around the world and at this moment the New Zealand franchises are not getting in the competitions they were involved in the past two years.
Forster also said that Sa teams gives them a unique challenge as they do not allow teams to play their natrual games and will force you to have a plan b and c, they change your mindset in games.
If we are honest we will also be missing the challenges NZ franchise have given us but we have a much better oponent in Europe than NZ have in the Trans Tasman competitions, with all due repect to Australian sides.
Atleast for now Foster still have the South Africans involved in the Rugby Championship but concerning Super Rugby, that boat has sailed when NZRU went their own way without considering the other SANZAAR unions.