Jake White has applauded SA Rugby’s decision to scrap its 30-Test cap eligibility rule for overseas-based players and enforce Regulation 9.
SA Rugby confirmed last Saturday that as part of a ‘radical’ new strategy, the rule – which only allowed overseas-based players with 30 Test caps or more to be considered for Springbok selection – would no longer apply.
SA Rugby will also strictly enforce Regulation 9 and therefore require Springbok players for up to 14 weeks of the year.
In a column for AllOutRugby, White wrote that the decision will allow South Africa to retain its best players who can help develop its best youngsters.
‘This should have been done a long time ago. If we had taken a stand on Regulation 9 when our players first started going overseas, European clubs would quickly have realised that signing South Africans is risky business.
‘What’s going to happen now is that those European clubs are going to think twice about signing SA players because they could be pulled out of the squad every time there’s a national team selection. And the spin-off from that is you’re going to get more talent staying in South Africa and developing the next generation of players.
‘However, to get this right, it’s crucial that SA Rugby doesn’t allow certain players to occasionally excuse themselves from Tests without retiring from international rugby, because that will make a mockery of this plan. If we don’t follow through like this and youngsters can indefinitely earn euros and play for the Boks, all of the best players will be overseas while SA Rugby overpays the leftovers who were never going to go abroad anyway.’
Photo: Marty Melville/AFP Photo