So the Cape Crusaders were a factor in SARU not allocating an All Black Test to Cape Town, but will being able to use the CT stadium change SARU’s thinking?
And we all thought it was because WPRU would not move from Newlands to the Cape Town stadium! Nope, SARU CEO, Jurie Roux, has confirmed that the behaviour of Cape Crusaders is why Springbok Tests against the All Blacks have not been staged at Newlands recently.
Roux, speaking on KFM, said that Newlands will not host a Springbok-All Black Test until the issue is sorted out: “The SARU Executive Council weighs up many factors when determining where Tests will be hosted. The first concern is what is the best rugby environment in terms of what most suits the Springbok team and what least suits the opposition. Secondly we look at what is the most commercially viable option.
“Obviously the fact that Cape Town has been a successful ground for New Zealand – one on which they have won three out of their last four visits and also one at which they clearly feel at home – is an important factor when looking at Test allocation.”
This after we all thought WPRU president Thelo Wakefield was smoking his socks when he told the Cape Times that the union had received a letter from SARU stating “enough is enough” following several unsavoury incidents between Stormers and Crusaders fans during last Saturday’s Super Rugby clash at Newlands.
“It makes it tougher and tougher to get the All Blacks to play in Cape Town. I am losing the battle at SARU to convince the executive to play the All Blacks Test in Cape Town. I think all these incidents at Stormers-Crusaders games are the major reason why SARU takes the All Blacks rather to Port Elizabeth or up north,” said Wakefield.
But now that SARU have taken back ownership of the Springbok Tests (starting from 2014), it will be interesting to see how the national body handle test allocation in the mother city. Now not restricted to using Newlands, will they make use of the Cape Town stadium?
And if using the new stadium, will the Cape Crusaders still stop them from hosting an All Black Test in Cape Town … Or will that just be deemed a “Newlands thing”?