French drain increases further

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Cheetahs, Currie Cup, Original Content, Stormers on 19 Jun 2014 at 09:50
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Two more Super Rugby regulars will leave South African shores to take up French contracts on conclusion of the 2014 Super Rugby season, according to reports.

Cheetahs number 8 Philip van der Walt – only 24 and just the sort of player one would expect to come strongly into the national reckoning – has opted to continue his career with Biarritz in the South West of France. Van der Walt apparently turned down a move to the Sharks (who are themselves losing two stalwart loose forwards to Japan later this year) in order to take up the French offer.

Stormers (and former Sharks) prop Pat Cilliers is apparently also moving on, heading to Montpellier.

Currently well under Heyneke Meyer’s radar, Cilliers clearly believes that playing in the same team as Wynand Olivier will help him move back into the national selection frame, since Meyer is clearly far more likely to watch them than he is the Stormers.


  • “Currently well under Heyneke Meyer’s radar, Cilliers clearly believes that playing in the same team as Wynand Olivier will help him move back into the national selection frame, since Meyer is clearly far more likely to watch them than he is the Stormers.”


  • Comment 1, posted at 19.06.14 09:57:40 by Zibbie Reply
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  • Beautiful bit of sarcasm Rob…if we can’t laugh about it, we’d be a rather dull people.

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.06.14 10:07:57 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • According to Beeld, for what that’s worth, Paul Willemse is negotiating with Grenoble

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.06.14 10:12:37 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 3) : it rains it pours

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.06.14 10:14:55 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • I wonder how long before SARU drops the requirement that only capped Boks can be considered for a Bok team while playing overseas.

  • Comment 5, posted at 19.06.14 10:17:38 by Bokhoring Reply
  • And the player drain continues. Only going to get worse.

    I hope Meyer enjoys sitting in the ashes of the SA rugby landscape he created, crying softly and whispering to himself ‘What have I done?’

  • Comment 6, posted at 19.06.14 10:20:33 by PTAShark Reply
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  • I see that OZ has taken a “hardline” stance on not only foreign players, but even player sabbaticals as their rugby boss (Pulver) believes it will harm their domestic competition.

    Clearly SARU is not interested in our domestic competition anymore, as we are losing local players in droves…a lot of these local players should have been selected to at least join the bok squad.

    Ebersohn and vd Walt both gave everything in hopes of a deserved Bok call up, but even that was not enough….can’t blame these players for giving up on their childhood dreams.

  • Comment 7, posted at 19.06.14 10:25:29 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • there must be over 50 south African players playing oversees by now.

  • Comment 8, posted at 19.06.14 10:30:06 by MJ Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 7) : I wonder should Ebersohn still have been in SA this year, if HM would have selected him this Saturday rather than Wynand?

  • Comment 9, posted at 19.06.14 10:30:45 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @MJ (Comment 8) : A while ago there were about 165 SA players overseas:

    Gert Muller Bayonne
    Ross Skeate Agen
    Conrad Barnard Agen
    Burton Francis Agen
    Wessel Jooste Agen
    Louis Ludik Agen
    Stephan Gerber Aurillac
    Lee Adriaanse Aurillac
    Delkeith Pottas Aurillac
    Jakobus Kemp Aurillac
    Arno Coetzee Aurillac
    Wicus Blaauw Biairritz
    Eugene van Staden Biairritz
    Joe Pietersen Biairritz
    Brett Sharman Bath
    Nick Koster Bath
    Francois Louw Bath
    Michael Claassens Toulon
    Dewald Senekal Bayonne
    Scott Spedding Bayonne
    Sam Gerber Bayonne
    JC Janse van Rensburg Bayonne
    Darryl Veenendal Bedford
    Nico Steenkamp Bedford
    Harry Vermaas Beziers
    Luan Velthuizen Beziers
    Wouter Moore Beziers
    Henk Eksteen Beziers
    Danré Gerber Beziers
    Heini Adams Bordeaux
    Jandré Marais Bordeaux
    Retief Uys Brive
    Petrus Hauman Brive
    Kevin Buys Brive
    Riaan Swanepoel Brive
    Andries Kruger Carcassone
    Andries Pretorius Cardiff
    Michael Coetzee Castres
    Jannie Bornman Castres
    Antonie Claassen Castres
    Pedrie Wannenburg Castres
    Rory Kockott Castres
    George Marich Castres
    Daniel Kotze Clermont
    Gerhard Vosloo Clermont
    Rudi Brits Colomiers
    Len Olivier Colomiers
    Jeffrey Perkins Colomiers
    Danie Poolman Connacht
    Claude Dry Dax
    Jacques Naude Dax
    Marius Delport Dax
    WP Nel Edinburgh
    Greig Tonks Edinburgh
    Izak van der Westehuizen Edinburgh
    Josh Strauss Glasgow
    Tyrone Holmes Glasgow
    Nicolaas du Plessis Gran Ducato
    Durandt Gerber Gran Ducato
    Albertus Buckle Grenoble
    Ruan du Preez Grenoble
    Naude Beukes Grenoble
    Altenstadt Hulme Grenoble
    Roland Bernard Grenoble
    Shaun Sowerby Grenoble
    Rudi Coetzee Grenoble
    Hendrik Roodt Grenoble
    Rory Duncan Jubilo
    Jaque Fourie Kobe Steel
    Peter Grant Kobe Steel
    Andries Bekker Kobe Steel
    Cobus Grobler La Rochelle
    Johan Wessels La Rochelle
    Wylie Human Le Pays
    Bertus Smit Le Pays
    Sebastien de Chaves Leicester
    Quinn Roux Leinster
    Zane Kirchner Leinster
    Coenraad Basson Lyon
    Ricky Januarie Lyon
    Ashley Clarke Massy
    Wesley Dunlop Montauban
    Rassie van Vuuren Montpellier
    Drickus Hancke Montpellier
    Paul Bosch Montpellier
    JP du Plessis Montpellier
    Wynand Olivier Montpellier
    Robert Ebersohn Montpellier
    BJ Botha Munster
    CJ Stander Munster
    Willem Harmse Narbonne
    Jeandre Mynhardt Narbonne
    Marno Meyer Narbonne
    Gerrit-Jan van Velze Northampton
    Heinrich Brussouw NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes
    Jody Jenneker Oyonnax
    Jan Volschenk Oyonnax
    Leonard Olivier Oyonnax
    Zane Ansell Padova
    JP Pietersen Panasonic Wild Knights
    Jacobus du Toit Pau
    Danie Saayman Pau
    Andre Hough Pau
    Gavin Hume Clermont
    Dewald Duvenhage Perpignan
    Wandile Mjekevu Perpignan
    Francois van de Merwe Racing
    Bernard Le Roux Racing
    Jacques Cronje Racing
    Juandre Kruger Racing
    Stefan Basson Rovigo
    Corne Uys Sale
    Schalk Brits Saracens
    Alistair Hargreaves Saracens
    Justin Melck Saracens
    Nick Fenton-Wells Saracens
    Ernst Joubert Saracens
    Neil de Kok Saracens
    Jacobie Adriaanse Scarlets
    George Earle Scarlets
    Johan Snyman Scarlets
    Michael van Vuuren Stade Francais
    Gerhard Mostert Stade Francais
    Anton van Zyl Stade Francais
    Meyer Bosman Stade Francais
    Morne Steyn Stade Francais
    Heinke van de Merwe Stade Francais
    Pieter Grobler Stade Montois
    Johannes Britz Stade Montois
    Fourie du Preez Suntory Sungoliath
    Cilliers Coetzer Tarbes
    Werner Loftus Tarbes
    Collen van Staden Tarbes
    Pieter Terblanche Tarbes
    Thomas Pieter Loftus Tarbes
    Joe van Niekerk Toulon
    Bakkies Botha Toulon
    Danie Rossouw Toulon
    Bryan Habana Toulon
    Gurthro Steenkamp Toulouse
    Gary Botha Toulouse
    Chiliboy Ralapele Toulouse
    Jano Vermaak Toulouse
    Doppies Le Grange Treviso
    Jacobus Roux Treviso
    Rob Herring Ulster
    Johann Muller Ulster
    Robbie Diack Ulster
    Ruan Pienaar Ulster
    Joe van Niekerk (Centre) Venezia
    Hendrik van Niekerk Venezia
    Ryan Kankowski Verblitz
    Adriaan Fondse Viadana
    Ruehan van Jaarsveld Viadana
    Jacques Potgieter Waratahs
    Ashley Johnson Wasps
    Sias Ebersohn Western Force
    Wilhelm Steenkamp Western Force
    Marcel Brache Western Force
    Etienne Oosthuizen Western Force
    Chris Heiberg Western Force
    Errie Claassens Worcester
    Dries van Schalkwyk Zebre
    Zane Ansell Petrarca

  • Comment 10, posted at 19.06.14 10:37:34 by Baylion Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 10) : Where did you get all of this information? That’s quite a list!

  • Comment 11, posted at 19.06.14 10:42:39 by ChrisS Reply
  • @Baylion (Comment 10) : oh my word – what will we do without Zane Ansell?

  • Comment 12, posted at 19.06.14 10:42:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : 😆

  • Comment 13, posted at 19.06.14 10:44:36 by Baylion Reply

  • @ChrisS (Comment 11) :,-playing-abroad-.aspx and edited it last year. Haven’t updated it since Aug ’13

  • Comment 14, posted at 19.06.14 10:46:21 by Baylion Reply

  • @PTAShark (Comment 6) : nah he wont be in ashes. The next guy will inherit such a mess that HM will look awesome by comparison. Everyone in snor city will remind us how great the Heyneke days were… 🙄 🙄

  • Comment 15, posted at 19.06.14 10:48:07 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 15) : He might not be, but our rugby teams sure are going to be.

  • Comment 16, posted at 19.06.14 10:50:05 by PTAShark Reply
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  • 1. Schalk Fereirra (Plays ahead of Gurthro at Toulouse)
    Heinke van der Merwe

    2. Craig Burden
    Gary Botha

    3. BJ Botha
    Brian Mujati

    4. Gerhard Mostert
    Quinn Roux

    5. Allistair Hargreaves
    Juandre Kruger

    6. Heinrich Brussouw
    Roland Bernard

    7. Juan Smith
    Pedrie Wannenburg

    8. CJ Stander
    Jacques Cronje

    9. Jano Vermaak
    Rory Kockott

    10. Peter Grant
    Sias Ebersohn

    11. Wandile Mjekevu
    Danie Poolman

    12. Meyer Bosman
    Riaan Swanepoel

    13. Robert Ebersohn
    Marcel Brache

    14. Joe Pietersen
    Louis Ludik

    15. Riaan Viljoen
    Scott Spedding

  • Comment 17, posted at 19.06.14 10:55:02 by ChrisS Reply
  • I’ll rather just keep my mouth shut 🙄

  • Comment 18, posted at 19.06.14 10:56:09 by JarsonX Reply
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  • We could put out a very interesting SA Overseas Team 😯 That’s a lot of talent not being used.

  • Comment 19, posted at 19.06.14 10:56:39 by ChrisS Reply
  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 15) : @PTAShark (Comment 16) : At least we know of a certain coach more than capable of rebuilding a demolished and depleted Springbok team….and not only rebuilding it against all odds with no support from anyone, but also going on to win the world cup. 😉

  • Comment 20, posted at 19.06.14 10:57:34 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • can someone please remind me when this sideshow will be over, so we can watch some real rugby again? 😈

  • Comment 21, posted at 19.06.14 10:58:13 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 20) : There is no way in hell they give him that job back, not unless JS takes over at SARU…

  • Comment 22, posted at 19.06.14 11:00:00 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • Hell had to quickly check the link, for a second I thought I stumbled onto Keo’s website.

  • Comment 23, posted at 19.06.14 11:03:24 by Morné Reply
  • @Baylion (Comment 14) : Thanks. I’ll take a look at the site. I didn’t know about it.

  • Comment 24, posted at 19.06.14 11:10:12 by ChrisS Reply
  • Meyer is cocking up.

  • Comment 25, posted at 19.06.14 11:15:11 by Talent Reply
  • @Baylion (Comment 10) : bliksem

  • Comment 26, posted at 19.06.14 11:17:23 by MJ Reply

  • Sad to see that there is just no reward for guys staying in SA anymore, and this will keep happening until there is.

  • Comment 27, posted at 19.06.14 11:20:12 by stevovo Reply
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  • @Rob; use your stalking skills or whatever you have up your sleeves and tell us whats going on at the Tank, hows the injured coming along or something. All this Springbok talk is just frustrating a lot of us.

  • Comment 28, posted at 19.06.14 11:23:49 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 28) : yes please anything please!!
    If they are fishing what are they catching?

  • Comment 29, posted at 19.06.14 11:27:33 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 21) : now you talking,all this Bok drivel coached by Huge Mistake whose only interest is his own win ratio at all cost, backed by a weak self serving SARU,eish GOD help SA rugby

  • Comment 30, posted at 19.06.14 11:31:23 by benji Reply
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  • Whenever I have a bad day at work I console myself with the thought that at least I’m not coaching the Boks.

  • Comment 31, posted at 19.06.14 11:48:47 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 10) : Holy smokes! 😯

  • Comment 32, posted at 19.06.14 11:48:51 by Ben Reply
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  • The other day my daughter and her friend was discussing some guy that is taking French at school so that it will be easier for him to play rugby in France eventually. I doubt that the particular player will one day be Bok material, but it did shock me that SA school kids are already planning for their careers in France.

  • Comment 33, posted at 19.06.14 12:02:28 by Bokhoring Reply
  • What really pisses me off is there are rumors of some young Sharks in talks with French clubs.

  • Comment 34, posted at 19.06.14 12:08:57 by Talent Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 33) : Let’s get down to brass tacks, our current exchange rate and SA’s financial outlook is a far bigger contributor to the local talent drain than the selection policies of a Bok coach. As long as we’re paying a minimum of ten of our coins for only one of theirs, this is the reality we’re faced with.

  • Comment 35, posted at 19.06.14 12:12:29 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 35) : I am not blaming HM for the talent drain, but his selection policy as far as OSB is removing the only bargaining chip we have at this stage. Would a guy like Goosen have gone as readily over to France at this stage of his career, if he knew he would loose his Bok spot?

  • Comment 36, posted at 19.06.14 12:17:36 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @JarsonX (Comment 28) : Saw an article on IOL regarding Lambie’s road to recovery…it says that due to the injury, he has had a lot more time to do fitness and gym training than he would have had otherwise.

    So on the upside we should see Patrick Schwarzn-Lambie run out for the Sharks…no news on when exactly this will be though.

  • Comment 37, posted at 19.06.14 12:17:52 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @Baylion that list is far from complete. I read a while ago that there are over 600 South Africans contracted to play rugby overseas. Many of the players never got close to Currie Cup rugby but can make a decent living playing in a second division club in Europe earning more than most currie cup players,

  • Comment 38, posted at 19.06.14 12:22:40 by byron Reply

  • @Bokhoring (Comment 36) : Apologies, never meant to imply that you did. I just thought your raised an interesting point regarding school kids learning French to play overseas and wanted to expand on factors influencing a decision like that as such a young age.

    Your point is a fair one and God help me but I think Keo came up with a good solution. Allowing older players to play overseas helps to extend their careers in addition to making sure they have good financial security when returning to SA, so why not change the selection policy to only allow for overseas-based selection once a player has earned a certain amount of caps in SA.

    I don’t think players leaving for foreign clubs will ever go away. It’s a new reality we’re faced with now. Question is how do we best manage it in the interests of both country and player?

  • Comment 39, posted at 19.06.14 12:27:59 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 39) : The best and only solution is to leave our arm gat cousins from down under and join the rich timezone-friendly North.

  • Comment 40, posted at 19.06.14 12:32:44 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 40) : I’ve always been interested by that idea. I’d miss some of the games against sides like the Crusaders and Chiefs but it might be better than the dull affair that SR has turned into. Wonder if SARU is considering the idea at all?

  • Comment 41, posted at 19.06.14 12:38:02 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 41) : I would also miss those games, but we must go where the money is. Besides we will quickly build new rivalries. Imagine Stade vs Sharks in front of 80 000! Now we talking

  • Comment 42, posted at 19.06.14 13:00:05 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 42) : If Rob can organise some prizes that involves free tickets, flight and accommodation for the Stade game, I am so in :mrgreen:

    Seriously though, there might be a lot of merit to games of this nature. I reckon a Stade game in SA would draw a lot of foreign fans here. The exchange rate would suit those fans very well.

  • Comment 43, posted at 19.06.14 13:09:03 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Van der Walt is going to be a huge loss for the Cheetahs. It’s a real pity the Sharks could not get him to move to Durbs, maybe he was thinking of playing for France as it seems the Bok coach is not interested in him?!?!

  • Comment 44, posted at 19.06.14 16:26:50 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 44) : I expect any day to hear the news that Lappies Labuschagne is also moving to France.

  • Comment 45, posted at 19.06.14 16:37:05 by ChrisS Reply
  • @Baylion (Comment 10) : geez that a lot, some nice players in there, others I don’t even know and some I wish I did not know. 😉

  • Comment 46, posted at 19.06.14 16:42:14 by JD Reply
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  • @ChrisS (Comment 45) : ja think some players that feels they will not be in the Bok group for World cup might decide to move overseas before the end of the year.

  • Comment 47, posted at 19.06.14 16:44:42 by JD Reply
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  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 42) : @vanmartin (Comment 41) : due you think the quality of the Northern Hemisphere would match that of the Southern Hemisphere,I don’t believe so?

  • Comment 48, posted at 19.06.14 16:45:27 by benji Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 48) : quality up north is much better these days with all the world players going to play there.

  • Comment 49, posted at 19.06.14 16:47:23 by JD Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 37) :

    Quite correct, guys that did not even play Vodacom Cup earns a comfortable salary in Europe with a house and car sponsored. Some of them will never have even made a Currie Cup side.

    We discussed this before about a week ago – players move for two reasons – money (the top Boks can earn 3 times overseas than what they do in SA and that includes the franchise and Bok contracts combined), and an easier workload.

    The one post here was quite correct, the figure is closer to 600 than it is to 300 players that play overseas – of that, about 10% are guys that played in our two elite competitions (CC and Super Rugby).

    Numbers are deceiving a bit though.

    Our estimated player numbers (senior, this means club and up) are around 80 000 to 100 000 (we are about 250 000 in total, don’t believe the IRB numbers) – 0.75% of this (around 600) plays abroad and even less (around 0.125% – I worked on a 100 which I think is way too high) are the pro’s that has a semi-good, or good chance (or have already been capped) to make the Boks.

  • Comment 50, posted at 19.06.14 16:55:12 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 50) : how’s Bloem?

  • Comment 51, posted at 19.06.14 17:24:14 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 51) :

    Effing cold – but back in CPT already.

  • Comment 52, posted at 19.06.14 17:31:31 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 50) :

    Do you feel SA will e able to keep up our standard of super rugby with all the players leaving ?

  • Comment 53, posted at 19.06.14 17:38:44 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 53) :

    SA still has a good supply chain through schools, clubs and comps like the Varsity Cup. We are much better off than our ANZAC cousins I can tell you that much.

    But in no way is this ideal whichever way you look at it. Firstly we need to make sure our breeding structures remain in tact and luckily events like the Craven Week has huge importance in our country still – but school numbers are dropping dramatically.

    Southern Hemisphere rugby is in trouble because we will always be behind the Pound and Euro. My personal opinion, the only thing that will ensure a strong SH participation in world rugby is a global season. And we need to get this within the next 10 years or we will breach the point of no return.

  • Comment 54, posted at 19.06.14 17:49:52 by Morné Reply
  • Two things to ponder:

    – the toll SuperRugby places on a players body is immense, especially the sort of game we play in SA. There is very little rotation policy in SA SR sides. There is also very little rotation at Bok level. In Europe the squads are large, so rotation is the name of the game. They need large squads to act as cover during international windows. Also, European-based players not playing international rugby, have a good 3 months off during the year.
    – the standard of rugby in Europe is improving every season and they pay a shedload of money.

    Why would any rational rugby player opt to stay in SA if he could earn a few years pay for every 12 months spent playing in France?
    And said rugby player gets to use his job to see some of the world and have a different experience?

    This will only get worse.

  • Comment 55, posted at 19.06.14 17:54:42 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 54) : Do you think SA would in the long run, be better off taking part in a NH competition instead of SR were such an option available to us?

  • Comment 56, posted at 19.06.14 21:39:12 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 56) :

    It would definitely help SA rugby (monetary), but I reckon it would kill Southern Hemisphere rugby.

    It goes to a whole other discussion where I reckon the Sevens game will in 10 to 15 years replace the XV code as the most popular version of the game…

  • Comment 57, posted at 19.06.14 21:50:51 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 54) : don’t forget NZ not only use their own schoolboy players they also pilfer the Islands around them for talented youngsters. With regards to the global rugby season I sort of agree with you but to be honest I don’t see it happening.

  • Comment 58, posted at 19.06.14 22:05:28 by JD Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 55) : very true, why would you not go for more money?!?!

  • Comment 59, posted at 19.06.14 22:10:55 by JD Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 56) : @Morné (Comment 57) : I also agree SA would benefit more especially with this stupid new Super rug y format that our friends in OZ and NZ approved. If SA leaves than OZ and NZ can continue with their inter Island derbies.

  • Comment 60, posted at 19.06.14 22:16:32 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 60) :Yes and who both have won the WC

  • Comment 61, posted at 19.06.14 22:24:34 by benji Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 61) : and so have England. SA will get more hating teams in the Heineken cup than to have them playing in the new kak Super rugby format. SA can also tour to OZ and NZ like the Northern teams currently do and like they did before the Tri-nations started.

  • Comment 62, posted at 19.06.14 22:32:27 by JD Reply
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