Rassie Erasmus was distinctly diplomatic about speculation that his Springbok team will be the last one to play a Test at Newlands this weekend.
Weekend reports alleged that the Western Province Rugby Union (WPRU), dogged by persistent stories about its poor financial position, is ready to sell the stadium to repay substantial debts, notably to Johann Rupert’s Remgro.
The union is also apparently negotiating with the City of Cape Town to become the anchor tenant of the Cape Town Stadium.
“I’m not sure if it’s true or what’s the reasoning behind moving from Newlands, so I can’t really comment on that,” Erasmus said on Monday.
“Newlands is special and we’ll enjoy the occasion whether it is the last Test there or not.”
The Springbok coach, who masterminded an early series victory over England, though also made a point of stating that moving on from older venues is part and parcel of the professional game.
Erasmus was personally involved in one instance in 1997 when he was part of the Bok team that thrashed France 52-10 in the final rugby match played at Paris’ Parc de Princes.
“I’ve coached and played here, Newlands is a wonderful stadium, and everybody knows how we feel about tradition in South Africa,” he said.
Whether the stadium would be given an appropriate send-off in terms of attacking rugby is a moot point, however.
“You know Cape Town, sometimes you get there and you get 80 minutes of dry weather. It’s difficult to predict, but if it does turn out to be wet and rainy, then you’re probably going to see some typical Test match rugby,” said Erasmus.