Springboks scrap ban on overseas players



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    South Africa have scrapped a ban on picking overseas-based players, opening the way for new coach Rassie Erasmus to name a full-strength side to take on England in their three-Test series next month.

    Governing body SA Rugby ended the overseas-based player policy just over a year after bringing it into effect.

    The rule prevented the Springboks from selecting overseas-based players who had fewer than 30 Test caps.

    The measure was an attempt to stem a growing tide of players leaving South Africa to sign more lucrative contracts at clubs in Britain, France, Ireland and Japan.

    It was set to be lifted next year in preparation for the 2019 World Cup.

    “Rassie is in his last year of preparation before the World Cup, so he can select any overseas-based player,” SA Rugby president Mark Alexander said.

    “He has just 18 Tests in which to prepare for the World Cup, so we gave him grace.

    “Rassie has already spoken to a few players who are playing overseas. From now until the World Cup, he wants to give as many players as possible the chance to show what they can do for the Boks.”

    It was not immediately clear if the ban on overseas players was being scrapped permanently or just until the end of the next World Cup.

    Erasmus is likely to grab the opportunity to bring back halfback Faf de Klerk, considered among the outstanding performers in this season’s English Premiership.

    De Klerk had won 11 caps before he left the Lions to play for the Sale Sharks.

    The decision also offers Vincent Koch and Juan de Jongh a chance to get back into the Springbok squad.

    Erasmus’s first Test in charge is against Wales in Washington DC on June 2, a week before South Africa’s first clash against England.

    The new coach has just over a year to prepare for the next World Cup in Japan, where the Boks meet defending champions New Zealand in their opening game in Yokohama on September 21, 2019.

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • May 12th 2018 @ 6:16am
      Redsfan1 said | May 12th 2018 @ 6:16am | ! Report

      Makes sense. It happens in Association Football so why not rugby.

    • Roar Guru

      May 12th 2018 @ 7:51am
      Machooka said | May 12th 2018 @ 7:51am | ! Report

      Harry… Christmas has come early!! 🙂

    • May 12th 2018 @ 10:20am
      95Bok said | May 12th 2018 @ 10:20am | ! Report

      Great, Chris Cloete, Paul Wilemase, Faf, Koch, Serfontein, Willie Le roux, should all get a look in.

    • May 12th 2018 @ 11:51am
      Muzzo said | May 12th 2018 @ 11:51am | ! Report

      I reckon Rassie will go well as the new Bokke coach, as long as the idiot government get rid of the quota system, which doesn’t allow the best players available to be selected.
      Give Rassie the cattle, we have seen running around in Super Rugby, then the world will see a far different beast, in the Bokke jersey.

    • Roar Pro

      May 12th 2018 @ 3:43pm
      Jonty Shonty said | May 12th 2018 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

      Marcel Coetzee

      • May 13th 2018 @ 7:01am
        Bakkies said | May 13th 2018 @ 7:01am | ! Report

        Needs to get on the pitch first.

    • May 12th 2018 @ 3:43pm
      AndyS said | May 12th 2018 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

      Logical move if they are planning to further align with Europe. If they stick with it for a bit before that, will be interesting to see what if anything it does to the flow of players.

      • May 12th 2018 @ 5:51pm
        Clyde said | May 12th 2018 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

        It is an admission that the war on preventing players from leaving for big money contracts in Europe cannot be won. The SA experienced professional rugby base of players no longer plays super rugby, when you have enough quality players to fill four or five full strength super rugby teams playing in European leagues. SARU’s best move is to join them and have the young inexperienced base of players stationed in SA play in the same time zone and competitions as the experienced base of players.

        NZ too will one day also be left with a young and inexperienced base of players when the majority of their experience ends up playing in Europe.

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