Bok hooker Schalk Brits says offering South African players a tax break could help prevent them from signing lucrative deals in the northern hemisphere.
A host of top players are set to move abroad after this year’s World Cup. Experienced Bok lock Eben Etzebeth has reportedly signed a big-money deal with Toulon, while centre Jesse Kriel has been linked with a move to the Leicester Tigers.
Jean-Luc and Rob du Preez have had short on-loan stints with the Sale Sharks, who are hoping to bring the brothers back on permanent deals.
Speaking to Netwerk24, Brits said that tax breaks could be a way for South Africa to hold on to their most experienced players.
‘We will never be able to compete with the overseas contracts. But maybe there is a legitimate way to give tax relief to our players.’
The 37-year-old hooker, who recently signed for the Bulls having come out of a short retirement to rejoin the Boks last year, emphasised the importance of the South African franchises keeping players who can help develop the younger members of the squad.
‘We no longer have mentors in our rugby, and it is a pity that so many of our players are playing overseas. There are no more players in the middle level – you get the Springboks and then the young players who are taking their first steps in Super Rugby. The men who have to transfer the intellectual capital are overseas.
‘I only realised it later in my career, but in rugby terms, you are still a laaitie at 24, and we want our players to take on Super Rugby at the age of 22, 23 or 24,’ Brits added. ‘It takes the experience of a few klaps and getting your head scrummed into your backside over the years to make you a hardened forward.’
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