‘Most SA players would prefer Pro12’

Kings scrumhalf Rudi van Rooyen says a lot of South Africans would rather play in the Pro12 than Super Rugby.

Having been axed from Super Rugby, the Kings and Cheetahs are set to join the Pro12, which is currently made up of teams from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy.

'A lot of the players at South African teams would prefer playing in the Pro12,' Van Rooyen told BBC Scotland. 'Most of the guys are really excited to play in the northern hemisphere – it's a new challenge, a new type of game, playing new opposition that you don't know at all.

'Most of the South Africans want to earn their pounds or their euros and I think playing in Europe, playing against Munster or Ulster, the big teams from Ireland or Scotland or Wales can certainly put your foot in the door a bit.

'The only way people in Europe can see you play is clips and games that you send them, but once you start playing against them week in, week out, they can know more about you as a person and how you play.

'I've got only about four, five, six years left [in his career] – you have to make your pounds or your euros. Playing against the European teams week in, week out should hopefully make a way for us to get overseas just by playing against the teams there.'

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Van Rooyen also hoped playing the Pro12 would increase his chances of representing the Springboks.

'We're going to play more of a kicking game against the northern hemisphere teams because it is wet most of the time – maybe that's what the Springboks selectors want for certain games,' he said. 'So I think it can really help us to become Boks or to get that big contract in Europe to help you get financial stability for after rugby.'

Photo: Gallo Images

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