SARU must follow NZ example
Cape Town - Free State Cheetahs coach, Naka Drotské says that his team, along with teams from smaller unions may find themselves in dire straights in the next few years if the contracting system in South African rugby doesn’t change soon.
Drotské stated that player values are increasing by approximately 15% every season and it is causing the smaller unions a problem if they are to hold onto their most prized assets.
Wednesday’s Die Burger reports that the Free Staters themselves had to trim their list of contracted players down to 33 to that of 55 from last season just to hold onto players such as star flank Heinrich Brüssouw, prop, Coenie Oosthuizen, flyhalf Johan Goosen, brothers Sias and Robert Ebersohn along with other youngsters, Pieter Labuschagné and Johan Wessels.
As an alternative, Drotské is putting his support behind the notion that the South African Rugby Union (SARU) should adopt a system similar to that of their New Zealand counterparts.
“In the interest of South African rugby, I believe that SARU should follow the example set by New Zealand and adopt a central contractual system. I don’t think the current situation is healthy for Springbok rugby,” Drotské told Die Burger.
“How can it be healthy for a player to be contracted to a union and basically be their third-choice player, whereas that same player would make the starting XV of another union? It simply cannot work that way. I know that Saru are considering a central contractual system, but there are unions who are against it,” he added.
Die Burger further suggests that if SARU do adopt the approach to contract the country’s top 100 players it will stop players such as Juan Smith, Ashley Johnson and Adrian Strauss from seeking greener pastures in an effort to earn market-related salaries.
“We know that the most important element for success is the consistency in your team selection and stability within your squad. That is why it is important for us to keep all of them here.”