‘Bok jersey must be priceless’

Jake White says the Springboks must pick a side made up mostly of overseas-based players for their Test series against France in June.

Last month, SA Rugby announced that only overseas-based Boks with more than 30 Test caps would be eligible for national selection as of 1 July.

In his latest column for AllOutRugby, the 2007 World Cup-winning Bok coach said that with almost every top player leaving South Africa to play abroad, the situation had reached a 'tipping point'. 

'It feels like SA Rugby is in a spiral because we've put ourselves in a position where an Overseas SA XV would probably beat the Boks every time, so there's no way we can afford not to pick the best overseas players now,' White wrote.

'As much as we want to say you can't have your cake and eat it, we've created a situation where that's exactly what our players can do, and we're now forced to give it to them.'

WATCH: Jurie Roux on overseas Bok player policy

White said New Zealand had got it right by only selecting those who play their rugby in the country for the All Blacks.

'I'm envious of the way they made the All Blacks jersey priceless,' he wrote. 'Do you think they didn't need Carl Hayman back in 2007 when he moved to Newcastle, or Nick Evans, when the All Blacks lost a number of flyhalves leading up to the 2011 World Cup final? But the reality was that they made their rules about eligibility and they were strict on it.

'Likewise, the Bok jersey should be worth a lot more than any money you get overseas; playing for your country should be priceless. The jersey must mean something and the only way to get that value back is to win.

'Last year, we lost eight out of 12 Tests which means it’s conceivable that there are now guys who have played Test rugby for South Africa and have never won.

'Do you think any player wants to stay involved with a team when they’re not winning? That’s not the nature of sport or sportsmen.

'So the only way to fix that is to win. To do that, you have to pick the best players, and most of our best players are based overseas.'

Full column

Photo: Ben Radford Corbis/Getty Images

Post by

Simon Borchardt