Our interest was piqued last week when we spotted a Tweet by Sport24 chief writer, Rob Houwing, in which he asserted that the Super Rugby tournament is in trouble. But let’s rather let Rob speak for himself since he does do it pretty well:
“I was able to pick below TWO full sides of quality players, all under 30, who quit Super Rugby ahead of 2020 season...demonstrating one of the tourney's biggest problems.”
Quite. And it’s not a new phenomenon. The staunch Lions supporters in this newsroom remember all to well the destruction wrought when former coach Johan Ackermann packed for Gloucester and took a lot of our talent with him. But we digress.
Houwing's article looks across the competition and he writes: “Perhaps the best way to illustrate that point is to pick a team...just from players who aren’t yet 30, but who bade farewell to the competition ahead of the 2020 version.” Here’s his team:15: Melani Nanai (age 26) 14: Waisake Naholo (28) 13: Jesse Kriel (26) 12: Damian de Allende (28) 11: Nehe Milner-Skudder (29) 10: Handre Pollard (25) 9: Yutaka Nagare (27) 8: Liam Squire (28) 7: Pablo Matera (26) 6: Kwagga Smith (26) 5: Brodie Retallick (28) 4: Eben Etzebeth (28) 3: Jeff Toomaga-Allen (29) 2: Malcolm Marx (25) 1: Santiago Garcia Botta (27)