Jacques Nienaber hints at South Africa being a doubtful starter for Rugby Championship

South Africa havent played since they clinched the World Cup title last year
South Africa havent played since they clinched the World Cup title last year
©Steve Haag

Incoming South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber has warned that the Springboks players should get sufficient match time if they are to feature in the upcoming Rugby Championship tournament at the end of the year.

The Southern Hemisphere competition that was originally scheduled in August is now set to play in November with the World Rugby recommending a single country to host the matches which is likely to be New Zealand.

While New Zealand and Australia are already featuring in their local Super Rugby competition, South Africa are yet to play a professional game since they clinched the World Cup title last year in Japan.

Nienaber, who replaced Rassie Erasmus as the new head coach feels the Currie Cup competition should begin at least by the end of August for players to get a decent conditioning and match time before they head to a high intensity tournament like Rugby Championship.

"We have a responsibility to ensure that the players have received sufficient conditioning so that they can play rugby," he told Rapport newspaper.

"If we can't play six games, then I don't think we will go. The player well- being risk would just be too great."

Nienaber also reckons that a bigger squad of 45 players would be ideal as there might be restrictions on replacement players undergoing mandatory quarantine period when they are called for.

Earlier, World Rugby had recommended the tournament to be scheduled between 7th November and 12th December.

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