SA Rugby Editor Zelim Nel and I spoke with legendary Welsh and British & Irish Lions centre Scott Gibbs about the United Rugby Championship, the state of the South African franchises and how the tournament has begun to take shape and where it will go in the future, writes Mark Keohane.
Reflecting on the South African teams’ recent hot run in the URC, Gibbs spoke of being amazed by the wonderful generation of South African player coming through the ranks. We were all in agreement that the four South African franchises would again dominate with results this coming weekend, as has been the trend since the northern sides began coming down south a month ago.
Only now has the tournament begun to really take shape and Gibbs, impressed by the quality of rugby being played, believes that come next year the URC, with the return of crowds a much more settled calendar, will emerge as one of the best domestic tournaments in world rugby.
Gibbs, who in many respects led the charge of the 1997 British & Irish Lions team that beat the Springboks, said he believes that touring South Africa will become one of the biggest experiences for the teams from the Celtic nations, as it is the greatest country in the world to play rugby and one of the most enjoyable to experience as a tourist.
For our full conversations, as well as our predictions for the four South African URC fixtures this weekend, watch below: