Super 14 Rugby

SA should not get Super 14 team: Rathbone

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Clyde Rathbone has questioned the viability of a fifth South African franchise in the expanded Super 14 competition, saying there are not enough quality players in the country to support it.

A South African franchise will be selected in the coming months to join Perth as the two new teams in the 2006 Super 14 competition, but former junior Springbok now Wallaby Rathbone believes it is unlikely to work.

“If you look at the performances of some of the other South African teams, it probably means that the depth is not there,” said Rathbone from Cape Town, where the Brumbies are preparing for their Super 12 match against the Cats on Saturday.

“Particularly in a competition such as the Super 12 where South African teams travel as much as they do, I think that team would really, really struggle.

“At this stage, I just think it is pretty unrealistic to expect them to be competitive.”

“They are going to be stretched for quality players. Unless they get their house sorted pretty quickly, there’s going to be no one left to contract,” said Rathbone, who believes Perth will be much better prepared.

“I hope for their sake they manage to get good coaches and a couple of good players at that franchise. If they don’t, you’d have to reckon their backs would be up against it.”

Rathbone also mentioned that he feels that SA should decide on the team’s location sooner rather than later as the winning team will have less time to prepare and this will make them struggle even more.

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