Not only does it serve as an extra eye for the Springbok coaching staff, but it exposes young players a level other than Super Rugby and will equip them with the necessary tools to perhaps one day play full international rugby.
It is understandable that this is a costly affair for SA Rugby and that it will probably gooi their budget out a bit, but this team is more important than having a sixth franchise in Super Rugby.
And instead of diluting competition, this SA “A” will benefit the country big time.
I envision them playing against the New Zealand Maoris, the England Saxons like they did, once-off games against the Barbarians and maybe even some international action against minnows such as Tonga and Samoa.
In a country so rich in depth, South Africa will only benefit from having a second national team.
And if it’s a question - like coach Allister Coetzee said - of funding, it would be nice to know how profitable a sixth Super Rugby franchise has really been for the SA Rugby hierarchy.