Springbok players to sit out Currie Cup
July 31, 2014
The Sharks celebrate winning the Currie Cup in 2013 © Getty Images
This season's Currie Cup competition is likely to be weakened by the absence of any Springbok players following a request by the South African Rugby Union (SARU) for teams not to pick them.
In previous seasons players returned to their provinces towards the end of the tournament, but that is unlikely to be repeated this year.
"It was decided upon that all contracted Boks will play no part in the Currie Cup, which puts us at a bit of a disadvantage," Sharks chief executive John Smit said. "It also depends on who gets selected for the Rugby Championship because they will then be unavailable for the duration of that competition as well.
"There are two ways of looking at it though: you can be negative and worry about how it affects your chances to win the Currie Cup, or you can be excited about creating Springboks and testing the depth of the squad. We have some exciting youngsters and there will be a few fresh faces."
Smit said the side had more than enough talent to cope. "There are youngsters who haven't even turned 19 yet who could have a role to play in the Currie Cup. There's a huge amount of excitement about what this Currie Cup could offer in that regard.
"The challenge in the first five or six weeks of the Currie Cup is that we will face other teams who have had two months to prepare, so we need to make sure we bat cleverly in the beginning."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Stoke City striker Jonathan Walters has said any player who spat at him would be "eating his supper through a straw" afterwards
Andy Murray registered a comfortable victory in Great Britain's opening Davis Cup rubber against the United States
Gloucester head coach Laurie Fisher has underlined the magnitude of his team's task against reigning Aviva Premiership champions and runaway leaders Northampton on Saturday
A former-policewoman has been jailed for 22 months after seizing CCTV footage of a street bust-up to be used as a "tool to blackmail" Liverpool footballer Steven Gerrard.
Wayne Rooney is desperate to realise his ambition of winning the FA Cup this season
Where does Anthony Davidson's record of 24 Grands Prix without a point rank him?
ESPN talks to Marcus Ericsson about the "pay driver" label, aiming for his first career points and what life was really like as a rookie during Caterham's chaotic final season
Gareth Bale says he has to be sharp in training or the other Real Madrid galacticos will quickly be on his case
Amid the glitz and glamour of modern grand prix racing it can be all too easy to forget about the men and women that keep the wheels turning. The Grand Prix Trust makes sure that's not the case
A spitting contest. Just what football needs to improve its reputation. You can always rely on football to stoop that little bit lower than you expected. Papiss Cisse of Newcastle United and Jonny Evans of Manchester United, who later protested his innoce
Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has claimed that "someone doesn't like [him]" in a cryptic social media post
Amir Khan is unlikely to face Kell Brook this summer as he looks to negotiate a fight with Miguel Cotto in America
Jose Mourinho has praised his Chelsea team's "warrior" spirit and challenged them to fill their pockets with trophies
Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud have the "mental strength" to spearhead Arsenal's charge for Champions League qualification, according to Arsene Wenger
Luis Suarez is to return to Anfield to play in a charity match arranged by Liverpool
After Nemanja Matic twisted his ankle celebrating Chelsea's League Cup win, ESPN runs down some of the game's most ludicrous injuries
Eight years ago, Steve Bunce was offered the chance of buying a 'share' in Tyson Fury, and it would have been a shrewd investment if he had the money
Who was the 100th man to win a world championship Grand Prix?
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner
Paul Butler tells Inside Boxing he turned down the chance of a trial with Liverpool in order to focus on boxing - and it was the right choice