Juniors to face tricky choice

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 13 Sep 2012 at 12:05
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Brenden Nel has just written up a very interesting piece on SuperSport, based on an interview with SARU CEO Jurie Roux. The subject of the discussion was retention of players for the Boks, despite big money offers to play for other international teams.

The recent case of Josh Strauss deciding he wants to qualify to play for Scotland, along with other youngsters including CJ Stander and Danie Poolman chasing Irish representation has brought this matter into sharp relief and Roux has admitted that the relative weakness of the South African Rand makes it infeasible to counter these offers on financial grounds alone.

One thing that Roux did say, though, which I think warrants further attention, is that the Under 20 (or “Baby Bok” “) side would now be nominated as he official “second side” from an eligibility perspective. In other words, starting (I guess) from next year, any player who represents the Baby Boks will immediately become ineligible to ever play for another country.

Think about that one for a second.

You’re expecting a young man who according to the legal requirements of our country is not yet old enough even to sign a binding contract without parental sponsorship, to make a choice that will affect his future as an international player. How can that possibly be a defensible strategy, either legally or ethically?

You’re asking a player, at the age of 20 or younger, to bet the farm on the fact that he may one day be considered good enough to comply with the vague and fickle selection policies of whoever the current Bok coach happens to be, before accepting the honour of representing his country at under 20 level. It’s crazy, it’s wrong and I wouldn’t be even a bit surprised if it leads to many players turning down an SA Under 20 spot in years to come.

Jurie, you’ve got this one wrong, mate. Go back to the drawing board and think of something else.


  • Well as far as I know, most top tier rugby nations use their u\20 team as their “second” side. France, Wales etc. Our current “second” side are the Emerging Springboks? I know there was an eligibility saga last year between a Welsh player representing Scotland, but he could not as he had represented Wales already at u\20 level against France.

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.09.12 12:14:53 by Argex Reply
  • The IRB should relax the rule altogether! If you haven’t played for your country for 3 years then you should be allowed to play for another country.

    Chris Masoe and Jerry Collins could have played for Samoa at the WC last year. That’s experience that could have been shared!!

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.09.12 12:53:23 by ChrisS Reply
  • @ChrisS : New Zealand actually brought that forward as a proposal at the IRB. Though only Australia and England voted it okay. The rest all voted against it. You can add Sivivatu to that list as well.

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.09.12 12:57:03 by Argex Reply

  • Get a proper “second squad ” system in place and get them regular fixtures. The list of players who play U20 rugga and who don’t push on to higher honours is damned long.
    The emerging bok system is a joke, hell last year the EP Kings were the emerging boks.

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.09.12 12:57:47 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • Saru cocking up again 🙄

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.09.12 13:01:14 by JarsonX Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • @Argex (Comment 3) : Sivivatu was still in the picture for New Zealand as he’d played in 2010.

    I wish they’d allow it. It’s criminal to have talented players unable to play for other countries when they’re no longer wanted in their own.

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.09.12 13:01:59 by ChrisS Reply
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 4) : I agree!! There should be “A” Teams from the 4 Rugby Championship sides who play curtain-raisers for the main teams. Imagine paying for one test and watching 2! 🙂

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.09.12 13:03:48 by ChrisS Reply
  • @ChrisS : They didn’t allow it, as other Tier 1 nations were scared as to how strong the Pacific teams would become if all those ex-All Blacks filtered back through. In the end that’s way they opted to crush the proposition.

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.09.12 13:07:34 by Argex Reply

  • @Argex (Comment 8) : It would have made the WC way more interesting. Sione Lauaki would have been available for Tonga I think.

    The 6 Nations teams would have been in trouble!

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.09.12 13:15:53 by ChrisS Reply
  • @ChrisS (Comment 7) : Everybody wins

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.09.12 13:18:27 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 10) : Exactly! We could play Grant, Lambie, Goosen and Jantjies in the A team over the tournament so that they can show that they’re better than Morne!!!

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.09.12 13:20:17 by ChrisS Reply
  • @Clayton(PJLD) : Except the likes of Wales, Ireland and Scotland;-)

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.09.12 13:21:07 by Argex Reply

  • @ChrisS : Consider the fate of Ben Atiga, who played 5min off the bench for the AB’s but could never represent Samoa.

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.09.12 13:26:27 by Argex Reply

  • @ChrisS (Comment 2) : I think this is reasonable.

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.09.12 13:42:45 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Argex (Comment 13) : That’s true! Same as Sosene Anisi (I think that’s the fullback who played for the Waratahs after moving from the Chiefs). He played one game for the All Blacks and that was it.

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.09.12 13:50:01 by ChrisS Reply
  • It just shows that in today’s era, there is very little passion left for the country, only the money seems to be a factor and test rugby in general. In Argentina we have the same problem. Most of them to Italy.

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.09.12 14:12:15 by Argex Reply

  • @robdylan The age of majority is 18 years thus they can sign own contracts, however I get your point. Maybe the answer is to change your name to Morne or Zane, sign for the Bulls and hope like hell HM is the coach as your place will be guaranteed.

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.09.12 20:35:08 by snakeslayer Reply

  • No 4 try BP’s in Rugby Championship so far…with Argentina playing. Well done them. 😎

  • Comment 18, posted at 15.09.12 13:57:26 by klempie Reply

  • @Argex (Comment 8) : I think the reverse is true. If NZ, Aus and the Poms were the only ones to vote in favour, the reason is obvious…they all have strong immigrant supply chains. Passing that motion would have meant that NZ and Aus would be able to use former internationals from the Pacific, and Eng….well everywhere really.

  • Comment 19, posted at 15.09.12 14:07:48 by klempie Reply


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