Eddie Jones: Boks could miss pace of Super Rugby at World Cup

Eddie Jones: Boks could miss pace of Super Rugby at World Cup

Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones believes that playing in Europe has its benefits but that the slower pace of the game could hamper the Springboks later this year.

After leaving Super Rugby, South African rugby has aligned its season with the northern hemisphere by joining the United Rugby Championship. They have also played in the Champions Cup this season, a tournament Jones described as the "highest level of domestic rugby."

However, the 63-year-old insists that while it is the most physical club competition in the world, eclipsing that of Super Rugby, the contact side of the sport is not something the Springboks need to develop.

"In terms of the rugby, I think they will benefit from the physical intensity, but generally speaking, South African teams never have to worry about that," he said on his podcast, EDDIE.

"They might miss playing against the speed of Super Rugby, and that's certainly one thing we'll look at; can we find a way to use the speed of the game to help us against the South African national team?"

Jones insisted that logistically it made sense for the South African sides to play up north but that there were advantages to playing in Super Rugby.

"For the South African teams domestically, it works better for them because they're on the same time zone, so it's much easier for them to travel. The difficulty for the South African teams in Super Rugby was the travel," he said.

"I don't think there's any doubt that South Africa benefit from playing against New Zealand teams and Australian teams, and similarly for the Springboks, playing against New Zealand and Australia regularly. But that travel is taxing."

South Africans watched their teams play in the Champions Cup for the first time ever this season, with the Bulls, Sharks and Stormers all reaching the knockout stages.

However, they were eliminated before the semi-final stage, with the Bulls and Sharks succumbing to Toulouse and the Stormers going down to Exeter Chiefs.

"It's the most like a Test match. If I was to comment on Super Rugby, the thing that it's missing out on is that physical intenseness around the ball. In the Champions Cup, you get that," Jones said.

"You watch La Rochelle play, you watch Toulouse play, they're so good around the ball, and then they're able to move the ball quickly to space, either through kicking or passing.

"When you're judging players, you're looking at whether they can handle that level of rugby because it's considerably higher than the pool rounds of the Champions Cup. It's the best selection guide."

Jones was part of Jake White's coaching staff when the Springboks won the second of their three World Cups in France in 2007.