robdylan

SA Rugby acts to stem the tide


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 6 Mar 2017 at 11:21
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It feels a little like we’ve taken a small step, when what’s really required is a giant leap, but SA Rugby has announced a change to Springbok eligibility that is, at least, a move in the right direction.

Starting from the Rugby Championship this year, Allister Coetzee will not be able to select any foreign-based player for the national side unless that player has already accumulated 30 test caps. It’s a move designed to prevent younger players from seeking greener pastures before making a significant impact at Springbok level; in other words, to stem the flow of young players from South Africa to abroad.

Now, there are some important details and exceptions here. Firstly, this only seems to apply to player who are permanently contracted overseas, hence any player who spends half his time in Japan before returning for Super Rugby will not be affected. This, to me, could backfire in that it now only increases the attractiveness of these split deals, which as we’ve seen can have a detrimental effect on player welfare. The other exception is that, because this ruling only comes into effect later in the year, the French test series is exempt. In other words, Coetzee still has absolute carte blanche to select whomever he likes in that series and can thus, one would think, use the opportunity to get a few “borderline players” over the line before the rules change.

Looking at it practically, there are very few such players, with Marcell Coetzee (28 caps) the only one whose eligibility is now suddenly in doubt, given that he has already moved abroad. Trevor Nyakane and Lood de Jager are both also on 28 and one would imagine that the latter, at least, already has plans to move abroad after this year’s Super Rugby campaign, by which stage he should well expect to have 30 caps to his name.

On the other side, there are again very few players who are already overseas but are now no longer eligible. These would be only Steven Kitshoff (9) and Vincent Koch (7), with Cobus Reinach (10) and Lourens Adriaanse (6) set to join them when they leave after Super Rugby. This, ultimately, is the biggest problem I have with this decision in that it does nothing to encourage or force the coaches to invest in locally-based players. Coetzee still can (and I’m sure will) pick a team comprising 60-70% foreign-based players, such is the number of 30-cap veterans currently plying their trade in Europe. In order for young players to make a conscious decision to stay and fight for a Bok spot, rather than give in at 20 and rather chase the money, there needs to be both a carrot and a stick.

This 30-cap ruling is a stick, all right, but there is no carrot.

If SA Rugby had made the benchmark 50, or 60, like the Aussies have done, then these young guns would have known that there were places available worth fighting for. Right now, the choice to make a run for it seems a whole lot easier.



39 Comments

  • i think the 30 cap thing might have merit in that it will pay off in a few years when those veterans are retired anyways, but you have kept your Jeremy Wards and RG Snymans. To put a blanket ban right now wouldve been too big a shock.

  • Comment 1, posted at 06.03.17 11:37:35 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • I think 30 caps is to few. The Boks tend to play 3 games in June, 6 in the RC and about 4 on the EOYT. So that’s 13 games. So after just 2 and a half years you have done your part for the Boks and can play overseas… Feel that is not enough. It should be 45, preferably 50 caps that way guys have at least put in a good 3 or 4 but probably 5 years.

  • Comment 2, posted at 06.03.17 11:50:18 by Hulk Reply

    HulkSuper Rugby player
     
  • So…OK…
    Now, if we could only get some competence in SARU so that they don’t continue to contribute to the player drain…that might be a bigger leap forward!

  • Comment 3, posted at 06.03.17 12:32:14 by pastorshark Reply
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  • I know it seems like I only come here to bitch but just indulge me. When Heyneke slapgat moron Meyer opened this can of worms all those years ago, a five year old could’ve explained the consequences, but he would not listen. Now he is long gone and the intellectual giants that run SARU are left to mop his floor. So Im just glad we are making any form of progress.

  • Comment 4, posted at 06.03.17 12:54:52 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • I find this such a load of shite,what is the object of the exercise.
    The Bok team should only have one criteria, best player available gets the position.
    Only way this will happen is if the team is the best or next best in the world.
    Carry on putting all these stupid restrictions in place and we will be losing to Japan and Italy on a regular basis.
    Pick the best player no matter where he is based

  • Comment 5, posted at 06.03.17 14:02:42 by The hound Reply
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  • The only thing that will stem the tide is to offer more money to the best players to stay locally.
    The Bok jersey had lost most of its allure some time ago already. Death by a 1000 little cuts.

  • Comment 6, posted at 06.03.17 14:07:12 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 5) : ja and meanwhile you destroy the local game. I dont even want to talk about long term effects on Bok and Shark because the effects are clear already. There are only two top tier nations that dont pick overseas. They are easy to spot in the global rankings. 1 and 2. @fyndraai (Comment 6) : Well put. I agree, but where will the money come from if the stadiums run empty for super rugby cause all the super players are overseas?

  • Comment 7, posted at 06.03.17 14:43:19 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 7) :

    The SA rugby union system carries too much baggage.

    Cut the b-teams, cut the juniors, the amateurs, the clubs and all the staff dealing with everything at the unions that do not generate revenue.

    Same thing at SARU. Cut the small unions. Cut teams and games with empty stadiums. Empty stadiums is a sign that there are more teams and games than the market can bear. The cost of staging a game is a fixed value, it should never be in an empty stadium.

  • Comment 8, posted at 06.03.17 19:42:01 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 5) : I fully agree this is just seopping drinks trolleys on the Helderburg, Kokket opened the door, plenty are and will follow

  • Comment 9, posted at 06.03.17 23:15:04 by benji Reply
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  • Sorry meant swapping, and just look at all the youngsters playing for Montpellier, all future French internationals

  • Comment 10, posted at 06.03.17 23:21:22 by benji Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 8) : yes all true. Impossible to implement though, since the ones to make those calls would be the ones to lose their jobs.

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.03.17 06:19:31 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 5) : Since the Boks started using overseas based players Bok rugby has gone down. RWCs have always been won by teams using domestic players only and the last three Soccer World Cups have been won by teams using mainly domestic based players (Brazil last won in 2002 and there was a 24 year gap between their 1970 and 1994 wins, Argentina last won in 1986).

    Whether there is a valid statistical correlation I don’t know but my simple logic tells me that using overseas based players is detrimental to the health of SA rugby

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.03.17 07:42:11 by Baylion Reply

    BaylionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Baylion (Comment 12) : My point was pick the best player no matter where they are based.
    Any form of restriction is exactly that its a restrictions whether its a case of enforcing a quota system based on race or based on location its still a restriction, and you are creating a weaker team.
    All I am advocating is to see the strongest Bok team possible on the field,and if they based in Umtata or in Tokyo,I personally don’t care just as long as each guy on the field or on the bench is the best there is.
    SARU’S main job should be working out how that can happen.

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.03.17 08:36:51 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 13) : My point is that it doesn’t seem to work. Once a player goes to play for his pension his motivation to play for his country seems to disappear, no matter what he says. Look at the Wallabies since they allowed senior players to play overseas. Coincidence?

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.03.17 08:51:16 by Baylion Reply

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  • @Baylion (Comment 14) : Wallabies first banned overseas players, but once Cheika came in they brought them back and and haven’t lost to us since

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.03.17 08:58:48 by The hound Reply
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  • I would still pick Bismark at 2,Marcel at 7,Vermullen at 8,Frans Steyn at 12,over any locally based players

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.03.17 09:02:57 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 15) : Uhm
    Saturday, October 01 2016
    South Africa 18 – 10 Australia

    Anyway they lost the series in Oz against England 0-3, the lost to Ireland and England during last year’s EOYT and scraped wins against Scotland and France

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.03.17 09:10:33 by Baylion Reply

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  • @Baylion (Comment 17) : yes but they still haven’t lost to Italy or Japan so whats your point.

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.03.17 09:36:08 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 18) : Changing the goalposts, aren’t you? Anyway, I thought I made my point in my first two comments @Baylion (Comment 12) : and @Baylion (Comment 14) :

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.03.17 09:41:22 by Baylion Reply

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  • @Baylion (Comment 19) : I made my point in 16, you need to prove me wrong in each position with local based players and I will accede to you

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.03.17 10:23:27 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 20) : Vermeulen was disinterested and poor when he played last year and Frans hasn’t had a good game for the Boks in yonks before he threw a hissy fit. I haven’t seen Bismarck play since he’s gone to France but it’s time to blood the new hookers, so Bismarck is out. BTW he was in the team of experienced Boks who lost to Japan. No guarantee that he’ll give his all for the Boks given the experience with most overseas Boks who came into the squad in the past.

    Marcel is playing good rugby overseas but will he play good rugby for the Boks? He’ll probably get his chance to get his 30 caps in June, then we’ll see.

    Anyway, naming a few of your favourite individual players who may or may not step up again still doesn’t disprove my premise

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.03.17 10:35:04 by Baylion Reply

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  • @Baylion (Comment 21) : My point was and stills pick the best player, regardless of where or who he is.
    And subsequently SARU should be working on identyfying who the best player is
    .Maybe my choices are wrong, but if you are going to use the stick that you can’t be a Bok if you choose to play overseas,excpect a lot more C.J Standers.

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.03.17 10:45:00 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 22) : Stander went overseas because he had to wait in line behind equally good or better loosies and because HM wanted to convert him to hooker as he deemed him too small to be a loosie.

    A lot of young players went overseas when HM opened the Bok team to overseas Boks and geriatrics, some who were capped, like Johan Goosen, probably expected to continue with the Boks.

    I think you will be surprised how many players still value playing for the Boks and who will make some sacrifice to play for them. But if you block their opportunities with overseas Boks they will leave. And it’s not as if these youngsters earn peanuts once they play for the Boks.

    But I’d rather have a squad of players who want to play for the jersey than players who try to protect themselves for when they get back to their overseas clubs where they earn their income and match fees.

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.03.17 10:54:44 by Baylion Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 22) : And how do we know these overseas players are still the best fit for the team? They play in different competitions, their conditioning is different, they turn up a week before the first test and are expected to just slot in, not having been part of the team during camps and practices

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.03.17 11:00:30 by Baylion Reply

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  • @Baylion (Comment 23) : yes yes yes.

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.03.17 11:26:00 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 24) : once again if the guy is not the best don’t pick him, thats not the argument, but if he is and he ‘s playing overseas don’t use that as an excuse to exclude him, i keep saying pick the best player regardless.

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.03.17 11:27:48 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 26) : How do you rate if he’s still the best fit for the team? On reputation?

    Bok rugby is in a difficult situation with a lot of new Boks who came in last year after HM’s geriatrics left. All the franchises are moving to a more ball in hand game, game plans these overseas Bok weren’t part of.

    Do the Bok coaches plan their game around the local players or the overseas Boks?

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.03.17 11:32:46 by Baylion Reply

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  • @Baylion (Comment 23) : Plus the real damage is being done to the local teams. The Springboks have always been and should forever be the product of a healthy local game. You cant kill the goose and expect the eggs to still be golden.

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.03.17 11:44:10 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 27) : I give that back to you, how do you rate who is the best fit for the team, thats why you have selectors and coaches.You only supply arguments of how to exclude people.
    I would begin with a system that says for example, only the very best players in the world deserve a Bok jersey.that is the only criteria.
    Thats how it works in New Zealand,and no matter if he’s playing a different code or is living in another continent, there’s always been a place for Sonny Bill,for one simple reason he is the best.

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.03.17 11:44:10 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 29) : To me it’s easy, he must play his rugby in SA.

    In NZ he has to play rugby union (Super Rugby) in NZ to be selected for the All Blacks, even SBW. Simple

    The same with England and I think Ireland

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.03.17 11:48:11 by Baylion Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 29) : not true at all. Theyve made him sign with the Saders, Chiefs and then the Blues before considering him every single time. He has turned down huge money in Europe and NRL just for the chance to play for AB’s.

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.03.17 11:48:34 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 30) : So you don’t agree with the 30 test bullshit then.

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.03.17 11:50:36 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 32) : I would prefer a blanket ban but currently it is probably too much to ask. We have just too many relative rookies in the Bok squad

    However, the only overseas Bok I would bring into the squad is Marcell Coetzee. I’ve long believed he could form a potent trio with Kriel and Whiteley

  • Comment 33, posted at 07.03.17 11:54:43 by Baylion Reply

    BaylionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Baylion (Comment 33) : I think they’re working up to a blanket ban.

  • Comment 34, posted at 07.03.17 12:04:43 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 33) : at the Lions I mean :)

  • Comment 35, posted at 07.03.17 12:13:12 by Baylion Reply

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  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 34) : I suppose a lot will depend on the relative success of this new move

  • Comment 36, posted at 07.03.17 12:15:50 by Baylion Reply

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  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 34) : It will stay in place till Habbanna retires,

  • Comment 37, posted at 07.03.17 12:20:02 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 37) : Which record does he still want to break?

  • Comment 38, posted at 07.03.17 12:22:12 by Baylion Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 37) : :twisted:

  • Comment 39, posted at 07.03.17 12:57:46 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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