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Xerox Golden Lions 10 10 48
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Hoff’s Japan move a spectacular own goal

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, Springboks on 5 Aug 2012 at 21:12
Tagged with : , , ,

We’ve all seen it unfolding in front of us over the last few weeks and now Heyneke Meyer has as good as admitted the same thing in an interview with Rugby365′s Jan de Koning: had Ryan Kankowski not signed a deal to sit out the Currie Cup with Toyota in Japan, he would be starting for the Boks in the Rugby Championship.

Now I can fully understand why a player would rather play in Japan – for about 3 times their usual wage – than slog away in a watered-down Currie Cup year after year. Given the waning of Kankowski’s star at international level over the past few years, coupled with some awful luck with injury, it would have seemed to all but the most ardent fan that another spell in the Sharks Currie Cup side would be his lot for the latter part of 2012, before Heyneke Meyer plucked him, virtually from obscurity, to join the test squad to face England.

Now, to me, this one looks like one of those ridiculous breakdowns in communication that seem to so often beset South African rugby. Surely Meyer must have known some time ago that Kankowski was going to feature in his plans? How then could the player have ended up painting himself into such a corner with this Japanese deal? I can’t believe that Ryan would honestly rather play for Toyota in Japan than for the Boks, so surely the only reason for making the decision to sign with Toyota was that he honestly believed himself to be out of national contention.

Perhaps he wasn’t actually in the picture at all, though, at the time that he decided to pen the deal and his recent run of good form is just a case of bad timing? Those things also happen in sport, at the most ironic of times, but whatever the reason for it happening, it’s starting to look as though Kanko may just have blown his one big chance to really stamp his authority on the Bok number 8 jersey that so many have been waiting for him to claim for five years or more.

A big shame and one that could have been avoided, I feel, if all parties involved had just been talking to each other.


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