Rugby Australia chairperson Hamish McLennan.
Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
Rugby Australia chairperson Hamish McLennan says South Africa’s withdrawal from the Rugby Championship is ‘disappointing and surprising”.
The world champions pulled out of the four-nations event last week, citing concerns over player welfare as the main reason.
“We’ll find a way through it,” McLennan told reporters at the launch of Australia’s indigenous jersey.
“We were surprised because South Africa did agree to the tournament and the scheduling so we were disappointed that they pulled out.
“It will cost us quite a lot of money but we’ll find a way through it… we’ve proven so far that we’re a pretty resilient organisation.”
McLennan said they would not claim any sort of compensation from SA Rugby for pulling out but he did find the decision puzzling.
“I think it was obvious that [the competition] was good for everyone,” the rugby boss stressed.
“If you look at South Africa, their top players won’t have played Test rugby for 20 months when the (British and Irish) Lions come through next year.
“We would have given them ample time to prepare for the Tests, we’ve already got the Argentinians out here at the moment and they are quite satisfied with how their preparations are going. So we were a little perplexed but we’ll have to move on …”
Revised Rugby Championship draw:
31 October – Australia v New Zealand at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium
7 November – Australia v New Zealand at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium
14 November – New Zealand v Argentina at Sydney’s Bankwest Stadium
21 November – Australia v Argentina at Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium
28 November – Argentina v New Zealand at Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium
5 December – Argentina v Australia at Sydney’s Bankwest Stadium
– Compiled by Sport24 staff