Eastern Province Elephants coach Peter de Villiers says his team needs world-class performers if they want to compete with the best in South Africa.
The Elephants were the whipping boys in the Rainbow Cup warm-up matches, losing 87-10 to the Bulls, 54-24 to the Lions, 43-0 to Griquas and 71-12 to the Cheetahs on Sunday.
Not only did the Elephants enter the season without big names, but they also played competitive rugby for the first time since Covid-19 brought a halt to sport worldwide.
This, while the other teams competed in Super Rugby Unlocked and the Currie Cup competitions.
Following their defeat in Bloemfontein on Sunday, De Villiers summed up his team’s performances in colourful fashion, saying: “I believe it’s quite easy to sum up our campaign.
“There are many people in the world that can run the 400 metres, but only a guy like Wayde van Niekerk can become a world champion.
“We can extend that analogy to rugby. There are thousands of men in this country that can play rugby, but there are only a select few that can truly be considered top or even world-class performers.
“I don’t think we have a lot of them currently...”