“It’s nonsense” – France legend blames South Africa for “rubbish” Champions Cup

Not happy.

Former France head coach Philippe Saint-Andre has blasted the inclusion of the South African franchises in the Champions Cup.

The four URC franchises were invited to be a part of European competition last year and are now in their second year with the Bulls and Stormers competing in the Champions Cup and the Lions and Sharks in the Challenge Cup, along with an invitational South Africa side, the Cheetahs.

Saint-Andre believes the new format is “rubbish” and thinks it is “nonsense” to have invited them to the competition which he feels was strong enough without them.

The 56-year-old, who also coached Montpellier and the Sale Sharks, believes Europe is helping South Africa to win another world cup by having them part of the Champions Cup, and hit out at the travel schedule required for the away games.

“I’m not excited because for me, this new formula is rubbish. It’s nonsense to have invited South Africa to this competition,” Saint-Andre told RMC Sport.

“We are going to help them to be world champions again, even though they have competed in eight World Cups and won four,

“The schedule is already very complicated for the Top 14 players and when you go to play in South Africa, the travel is incredible.

“When you play the Bulls in Pretoria, you’re going to play at 1,000 metres above sea level. Normally, you have to arrive a week before to be competitive, but you arrive 48 hours before instead.”

The former winger even highlighted global warming and said that South Africa “don’t add anything” to the competition.

“Then we talk about global warming. For me it’s nonsense to have invited South Africa. We had a very well organised European Cup with magnificent teams,” he added.

“There, we are still trying to help South Africa. We changed the name of the competition and the truth is, when you calculate the travel costs, South Africa don’t add anything to this competition.

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