Sale Sharks may be losing two Springbok World Cup winners in Faf de Klerk and Lood de Jager at the end of the season, but director of rugby Alex Sanderson believes the departure of the SA stars could benefit England in the long run.
From the 2022-23 season, clubs in the top-flight Premiership will only count one wage outside the reduced £5-million ($6.5m, €6m, R93.8m) salary cap.
The intention of cutting the cost of operating a squad is to help clubs cope better with the harm done to their finances by the coronavirus pandemic.
“You lose the experience, the talent and potentially a bit of X factor with the marquee player, but you gain opportunity for good young English players,” Sanderson told reporters on Tuesday.
“The pathway opens up to lads who could have been blocked before. The aim is to make the game a viable, self-supporting business as opposed to a folly of rich philanthropists, which it has been.”
He added: “The long-term benefits of saving the game and giving the opportunity to young English players definitely outweighs the short-term benefits of having some ‘galacticos’ on the field.”
De Klerk’s international career had stalled until his stellar form at Sale Sharks propelled him back into South Africa selection and the 30-year-old has been the Springboks’ first-choice scrumhalf ever since, while experienced lock De Jager (29) joined the northwest side after the 2019 World Cup.
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