Every South Africa fan must watch Sam Warburton make this startling admission
By Rugby Onslaught

Every South Africa fan must watch Sam Warburton make this startling admission

France captain Antoine Dupont might have caught the headlines this week with his opinion on South African sides joining the Heineken Champions Cup, but he was not the first person to have opinions like those.

Around 18 months ago it was former Wales captain Sam Warburton that was questioning the inclusion of the South African sides in the United Rugby Championship. Those criticisms looked to be valid early on, as the teams were not performing in the competition, but as they slowly got established, they began to take over. This culminated in an all South African finals between the Stormers and the Bulls, which the Stormers won.

Warburton has since retracted his comments, which he did again on BT Sport this week ahead of the Sharks’ debut in the Champions Cup against Harlequins, which they won. He said:

“I was very critical, actually, going back 18 months ago when the South African teams joined the URC. I was like ‘it’s not the URC, it should be the Celtic league, and then we had Italy and now it’s a big jumble of teams.’ I actually take it all back and how normal it actually feels to have the South African teams in the URC. Chatting to the players, you see their Instagram feeds and their coaches, what they’re doing and what the fans could be getting up to. And I think we should encourage more away travel to South Africa, which would be really good.

“But they’ve actually been a brilliant inclusion to the URC. Really strong. The quality of rugby is undeniable, we always knew that, but actually the league has bettered since the South Africans have come in. So new territory for the English fans but I think this time next year I imagine most people will feel pretty different about it.”