In the Newlands spotlight: Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has called on SANZAR to close the loophole that allowed the Stormers to draft in a European-based player.
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The Stormers, after a raft of loose forward injuries, called up Saracens hooker and English Premiership Player of the Year Schalk Brits into their team for Saturday's Super Rugby semifinal showdown with the Crusaders.
Their trouble started after No.8 Duane Vermeulen was injured and replacement loose forward Siya Kolisi was mugged over the weekend in Cape Town. Pieter Louw had already been riled out for most of the season through injury.
The Stormers then applied for permission to play Brits, who agreed - on condition that he doesn't play hooker at all and only feature as a loose forward.
Brits, who left South Africa in 2009, arrived at the Stormers' training base in Cape Town on Monday and has been training with the team all week.
The Crusaders mentor was clearly not impressed.
"It's something SANZAR decided on, but it boils down to a marquee player coming in at the business end of the season," Blackadder told a media gathering in Cape Town.
"I don't want to get into it too much because I want to focus on what we are going to do."
However, he felt SANZAR should revisit the matter.
"I think that loophole will be closed at the end of the season," Blackadder said, adding: "It's a decision the Stormers made and we can't do anything about it.
"We will just focus on putting in a good performance."
Asked if he was in the same position, what course of action would he have taken, a clearly agitated Blackadder said he dealt with his own injury issues in a different manner.
"Obviously they [the Stormers] got dispensation and clearly there weren't any other loose forwards in the Cape.
"You just have to select the squad and draw on that experience and pick the best available players you have got.
"That is for them to decide and they have been given dispensation.
"We've had injuries and had to bring in Brent Ward, who did really well for us, and we had to bring Reuben Thorne in on the bench.
"Most teams have had injuries in this campaign and there have been a lot of injuries across the board.
"SANZAR will have to really look at it and deal with it going forward.
"Whether I agree or disagree with it has no relevance really, the fact is they've been allowed to do it," Blackadder added.
By Jan de Koning
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