Fans: Pick overseas Boks

2013-04-22 12:33
Francois Louw (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Sport24 readers believe the Springboks should pick the best players available - even if those players are playing abroad.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has to date in his tenure expressed a priority to consider local players first, but the South African Rugby Union (SARU) may have to concede the fight to keep top Springboks in South Africa in the near future.

Last year Meyer picked four overseas-based players in his Springbok squad's Northern Hemisphere tour: Francois Louw (Bath), Ruan Pienaar (Ulster), Schalk Brits (Saracens) and Gurthro Steenkamp (Toulouse).

Meyer also admitted he would've considered Jaque Fourie and Fourie du Preez for the Springboks, if their respective Japanese clubs were prepared to release them.

The recent spate of overseas signings of top Springboks has prompted concerns that SA rugby may have reached a tipping point, especially with Meyer's willingness to choose players from overseas not being a restraint as it was in the past.

The South African 'player drain' has escalated this season, with Andries Bekker (Kobelco Steelers), Bryan Habana (Toulon), Morne Steyn (Stade Francais), Juandre Kruger (Racing Metro), JC Janse van Rensburg (Bayonne), Dewald Duvenage (Perpignan), Zane Kirchner (Leinster) and JP Pietersen (Japan, unspecified) all leaving South Africa to ply their trade overseas next season.

Yet, despite concerns over the talent drain, the majority of Sport24 readers are adamant that Meyer should choose the best players available, irrespective of whether they play at home or abroad.

Sport24 asked: As news filters in of even more SA-based rugby players signing lucrative overseas contracts, has the time come to pick local-based players for the Boks to keep our talent in the country?

These were the results:

45% - YES, players leave our shores knowing the are still eligible for Bok selection, while diluting the standard of matches in SA. It has to be stopped

55% - NO, even though NZ do it, we have to pick our best side and can't overlook those based abroad

The imperious form of Bath flank Francois Louw for the Boks last year is a strong argument for playing overseas-based players. (Getty Images)

Read more on:    super 15  |  springboks  |  rugby championship  |  rugby

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