Door open for Rassie to pick overseas players

2018-04-08 06:06
Rassie Erasmus (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - The door is wide open for Rassie Erasmus to pick an overseas player such as Faf de Klerk for the Springboks.

The executive committee of SA Rugby gave him the necessary approval to pick any player who might qualify for the Bok team, provided he gives valid reasons for that player’s selection.

The 30-Test rule still applies, but SA Rugby is willing to make exceptions under certain circumstances, which will make it possible for the Bok coach to pick the strongest possible team.

Erasmus recently held in-depth discussions with the executive committee about the rule, which was implemented before last year’s Test season to try to stop the exodus of players to overseas teams.

Former coach Allister Coetzee was unable to draft some of these players after the rule was implemented.

“Rassie spoke to us about it,” Mark Alexander, the president of SA Rugby, confirmed last week.

“The rule remains, but we will consider every request by Rassie on its merits. The Boks are SARU’s flagship and we will do everything we can to give them the necessary support.”

Erasmus will have to provide good reasons for picking overseas players such as De Klerk, Vincent Koch and Juan de Jongh, all of whom have played in fewer than 30 Tests.

They are some of the overseas players who could feature in his plans for June’s Tests against Wales and England.

In De Klerk’s case, Erasmus may be able to convince SA Rugby that the scrumhalf position is vacant. None of the local No 9s is standing out in the Super Rugby series.

Last year, Ross Cronje was the first choice scrumhalf, but he doesn’t feature in Erasmus’ plans at present. Cronje will not be attending the second Bok training camp next week.

Louis Schreuder and Embrose Papier are likely the strongest local contenders.

In an interview in the latest version of SA Rugby’s online magazine, springbokmagazine.com, Erasmus said they were working on a plan to manage overseas players.

“I’ve said before that all players who are eligible for the Boks should be considered, but we have to look at our home-based players first - and we have some wonderful talent playing here," said Erasmus.

“Having said that, I believe some of the more experienced players from overseas clubs can still add value, but they must be utilised correctly.

“In a World Cup year, we can use players with fewer than 30 caps, so we will probably have to test those players at some stage before the tournament in Japan next year. We are working on some plans to manage just that, while we also can’t neglect the players based in South Africa.”

The hard lessons that were learnt last year about the downside of the 30-Test rule might have influenced the UK’s decision to make certain concessions in future.

Read more on:    springboks  |  rassie erasmus  |  mark alexander  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights

Saturday, 09 June 2018
Japan v Italy, Oita Bank Stadium 07:45
New Zealand v France, Eden Park 09:35
Australia v Ireland, Suncorp Stadium 12:00
South Africa v England, Emirates Airline Park 17:05
Argentina v Wales, Estadio Bicentenario 21:40
Sunday, 10 June 2018
Canada v Scotland, Commonwealth Stadium 03:10
Saturday, 16 June 2018
Japan v Italy, Noevir Stadium 07:00
New Zealand v France, Westpac Stadium 09:35
Australia v Ireland, AAMI Park 12:00
South Africa v England, Toyota Stadium 17:05
Argentina v Wales, Estadio Brigadier Estanislao López 21:40
Sunday, 17 June 2018
USA v Scotland, BBVA Compass Stadium 03:00
Saturday, 23 June 2018
New Zealand v France, Forsyth Barr Stadium 09:35
Australia v Ireland, Allianz Stadium 12:00
South Africa v England, Cape Town 17:05
Argentina v Scotland, Estadio Centenario 21:40
Saturday, 18 August 2018
South Africa v Argentina, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 17:05

With the Springboks 2-0 up in their three-Test series against England, how do see the final Test at Newlands panning out?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season has wrapped up. For all the season highlights - and lowlights - be sure to visit Sport24!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.