SA Rugby is reportedly set to adopt a new contracting system that would reduce the country’s professional player pool by 54%.
With several of South Africa’s top unions in financial trouble, SA Rugby believes remodelling the contracting system is the only way to keep the best players in South Africa.
According to Rapport newspaper, there are 989 professional players in South Africa, resulting in R480-million spent on salaries per year. The new contracting system is aimed at reducing salary costs by at least R75-million and the contracted player pool to 459, which will include the national men’s and women’s sevens teams.
This would put South Africa on par with New Zealand, who has between 440 and 500 players on its books, Australia (225) and Ireland (between 180 and 200). Only England has more than 900 contracted players.
SA Rugby has also made financial provision for about 338 semi-professional player contracts for unions not involved in the Super Rugby and Pro14 competitions.
SA Rugby has asked Eugene Henning from MyPlayers and Barend van Graan from Sareo to compile a comprehensive report, consisting of several recommendations on how to best implement this plan.
SA Rugby’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus will meet with the presidents and CEOs of all 14 unions on 29 August to discuss the matter.
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