• Light at the end of player drain tunnel?

    For many years South African fans have bemoaned their teams losing players to the lure of foreign currency, but there may be a glimmer of hope that the departures lounge may be a little less crowded.

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    Speaking to the Sunday Times as part of a wider Brexit implications discussion, Cheetahs MD Harold Verster believed that the player drain could be slowed in the years to come.

    The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union has caused quite the commotion in the sporting world with clubs scrambling to determine which foreign stars may be forced to head back home. Rugby talent abroad is unlikely to be affected with little expected to change in terms of those players attached to British clubs via the Kolpak ruling [read that story HERE].

    But, for those starting out in the profession it may be a different story.

    The new contracting model put into place by SA Rugby combined with the saturation of the French and Japanese markets, could change up the current status quo.

    ‘For the benefit of SA teams, players may find themselves wanting to stay here from a financial perspective. There’s been a slight decline in terms of the demands of SA players recently because of the saturation in other markets, so they’re also looking at squad numbers,’ said Verster.

    ‘The doors are getting smaller and the current contracting model means the numbers in SA are getting smaller. Fewer players are getting contracts, but they’re getting better ones here. That may also impact on player migration in and out of the country.’

    Photo: Lions/Twitter

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    Wade Pretorius