Cape Town – The South African Rugby Union’s CEO, Jurie Roux, has confirmed that the behaviour of Cape-based New Zealand rugby fans is why Springbok Tests against the All Blacks have not been staged at Newlands in recent years.
This comes after Western Province Rugby Union (WPRU) president Thelo Wakefield earlier this week stated 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.
Wakefield told the Cape Times that “he knows” SARU has not scheduled a Test between the Boks and All Blacks at Newlands since 2008 due to the hostile environment between the respective groups of supporters.
“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,” Wakefield was quoted as saying.
Roux on Thursday confirmed Wakefield’s claims, telling the SA Rugby Magazine’s website that Newlands will not host a Springbok-All Black Test until the issue is rectified.
“The SARU Executive Council weighs up many factors when determining where Tests will be hosted,” said Roux. “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.”
The Stormers players were reportedly booed by local “fans” when they got off the team bus outside the stadium, while a fist fight broke out on the Railway stand between two men after a woman was allegedly struck in the face.
The woman was stabilised in a supportive neck-brace by paramedics, before being taken away on a stretcher.
The WPRU announced it is aware of several incidents that happened at the game and is conducting an ongoing investigating.
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