Player exodus frustrates Naka

2012-05-24 07:48

Cape Town - Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské has warned that the overseas market is not only a threat to the Cheetahs but to all South African teams.

Drotské was left frustrated after the Cheetahs this week lost the services of locks Izak van der Merwe and George Earle to Edinburgh and Llanelli respectively. They have followed prop WP Nel (also Edinburgh) and loose forward Ashley Johnson (London Wasps) in major Cheetahs players announcing they will leave the franchise after the Super Rugby tournament.

Drotské told Volksblad they have signed 13 players and are hoping to get a few big names to sign.

But he also warned the other South African teams not to rest on their laurels.

"The overseas market is not only a threat to us, but for everyone.

"Francois Louw left the Stormers. A few players from the Sharks and Bulls are also overseas.

"A lot of those players also feel they have a chance overseas and they have to start thinking about their future.

"It's very frustrating, but one of those realities that you can't do anything about - especially if you coach at the Cheetahs," said Drotské.

The men from Bloemfontein are currently busy preparing for their clash against the Waratahs at home on Saturday (17:05 kick-off). The Waratahs, interestingly, also have a former Cheetah in scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius amongst their ranks.


15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Rocco Jansen, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Riaan Smit, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Ashley Johnson, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Andries Ferreira, 4 Izak van der Westhuizen, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen

Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Francois Uys, 19 Justin Downey, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Philip Snyman




  • Lionel - 2012-05-24 08:11

    I agree with Naka but who can compete against the pound,euro and Yen for that matter,its like farting against thunder!!

      Jason - 2012-05-24 08:45

      Morning! Its a problem we face in South Africa but to overcome it we need to work really hard at grass routes level to ensure enough talent makes it through!

  • Anthony - 2012-05-24 08:23

    Every year Nka starts with a bunch of rookies and does so well. He must be the best coach in the country. The lure of the cash is too good for the players to refuse.

  • Jason - 2012-05-24 08:43

    i would imagine that this problem is further fired with a springbok coach who seems more intent or resurrecting old players instead of picking a fresh team

      Tokolos - 2012-05-24 09:03

      I would imagine that maybe they realized that they won't make the Bok setup after the various camps were held, and pointers were given to them regarding their individual style of play. Be honest... The only one who I would pick out of those named is maybe Ashley Johnson. The others just know they are not good enough maybe.

      Shaun - 2012-05-24 09:57

      Yes Toks ur right but those guys that have not played for the boks will be poached by England in a few years and that irks me. Even if they not good enough for the Boks, they shouldn't be allowed to steal our players like Brad Barrit. It might be unfair to block those players but I feel that if you finished Matric in SA then you should not be allowed to play international rugby for another team. SA must rank as the country with the most schoolboy rugby talent and if we can keep them from changing citizenship, we'll have more depth than we can dream of regardless of where they play their domestic rugby.

      LaBlue - 2012-05-24 09:59

      I agree with the Tokolos.

      Nico - 2012-05-24 10:18

      @Shaun, so if you get a job in another country that helps you clear 10 times what you clear here u going to say no???

      Jason - 2012-05-24 13:37

      I suppose what it really comes down to is the lack of available positions in a single squad. This in theory is great, we have more talent than places to put them. The problem comes in when they are poached in the junior level prior to us even seeing a taste of them.

      Shaun - 2012-05-24 14:23

      @NIKO, I totally understand why the players take those contracts. The issue is the IRB's policy can result in SA becoming a hunting ground for richer nations. Look at the islands like Samoa, Fiji, Tonga etc. that have there best players stolen by NZ.

  • Paul - 2012-05-24 08:45

    Sadly money talks!

      Gareth - 2012-05-24 08:50

      Its not sad that money talks... Its their Job! If you were able to earn R2 million + more in another country, WHAT would you do? Remember, that money will be tax free........

  • rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-05-24 08:49

    Naka, your own exodus is the only thing that will stop the players from leaving! You've installed a culture of "it is great to lose with less than 7 points". Unimaginative coaching with so much talent around. Never was a great player and will never be an even mediocre coach.

      Andrew - 2012-05-24 09:01

      Rinus you blue moron, Naka have shown SA rugby what could be done with little or no experience, but a lot of talent. If the Cheetah's could have retained all their players that they have lost to stronger unions and European clubs, they would have an unbeaten record in super rugby.

      Jonathan - 2012-05-24 09:15

      What a stupid comment. The Cheetahs continue to produce outstanding rugby players & their style of play is exciting to watch. If they could somehow manage to hold the same team for 2 or 3 consecutive seasons they could become a real force.

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-05-24 10:07

      Soos ALMAL op hierdie blogs is ek geregtig op my opinie. Ek dink nie Spies is 'n goeie Kaptein nie en ek dink nie hy is op huidige spelpeil die beste agsteman nie. Ek hou nie van Naka nie (en terloops, my opinie word deur BAIE mense in Bloem gedeel). Julle het almal julle eie opinies en spelers/afrigters van wie julle nie hou nie. Dus: @Drewka, the Cheetahs are my 2nd team and it breaks my heart to see SO much talent and SO many near wins. If Jake White was there, it would have been different - just look at the Brumbies. @blueraven - noem vir my enige speler in die Cheetah span en my glas in half vol, wat Naka aanbetref dink ek SY glas is half leeg. Dis net NET geld wat spelers laat loop nie en dis 'n feit (binnekennis). @Johnny - I've always said that they play stunning rugby DESPITE their coach and just because there's heaps of talent. Naka does not manage his players in the same fashion someone like Heyneke does. He makes stupid decisions with the wrong replacements at the wrong time and lose games because of that. He is the reason why they do not produce Springboks - but become Springboks when they move to a different province. Ashley Johnson: "I'm going overseas because I have Springbok aspirations later in my career". It is NOT the players, it is management in Bloem that prevents them from keeping a team for 2 or 3 years...

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-05-24 10:23

      nie net geld nie..

      paul.sdoow - 2012-05-24 10:47

      unfortunately you can't compare his playing ability to his coaching. many great players have failed as coaches and many non players are outstanding coaches. ie jake white a school teacher in essence not a ex springbok and this is not only in rugby but all sports k enny dag-L from liverpool brilliant player but at best an average coach. as to the players leaving that is more to do with the fs rugby union not the coach. otherwise many more players would have left many other unions from bad coaching. professional rugby has cause the saying . . if you want loyalty get a dog . . to ring true. and if naka was such a bad coach why are the two best loose forwards at the cheetahs ? any union would gladly snatch HB or JS for them even wp , even though we normally have too many loosie (this season aside) . but yes you entitled to your opinion .

      victor.freeman.39 - 2012-05-24 11:01

      Naka has failed to rectify the Cheetahs defensive problems for more than 3 years. Can't he get a defense coach to sort this part of their game out?

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-05-24 11:16

      1. As a rule, I do not think a good player will ever make a brilliant coach - they are too specialised and at best good consultants (Os - scrumming, Victor - lineouts, as example). But there will always be the exception - so I take your point that I should not link his playing abilities to his coaching. 2. The FS Union certainly is part and parcel of the problem - much of the criticism against them is the fact that they do not get rid of Naka. There is a tongue-in-cheek rumour going around that he knows too much of their business through information he obtained from their wives! :-) 3. Heinrich and Juan (and Os previously) are still there because of money - in each of their cases, individuals with big bucks made sure they stay - so they got outside deals over and above what the Union can offer them. I suspect the same happened with Goose. But this is obviously a limited resources. 4. I would certainly snatch up Brussouw if I had a say (and Goose!) - i think Juan, unfortunately, is too injury prone. Some of the above = opinion, some = facts (family member in the OFS stucture)! Btw, over and above Brussouw and Goose, I wouldn't mind if we had the following guys, whom I all rate: Coenie, Strauss, Ash, Ebersohn (Robert!) and Willie ... some on the bench, some for the future and some as 1st choice ... in my opinion of course! :-)

      Sean - 2012-05-24 11:53

      @Rinus, many good points. If there is a merger between the Cheetahs and Lions as is being rumoured at, who do you think will get the coaching position? Of course this could all get much worse. They could merge the administration teams from the Lions with that of the Cheetahs! That's one way the Kings may win a game...

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-05-24 12:05

      @Sean - I think Mitchell's MILES ahead of Drotske ... I am just worried that the Lions will not be able to afford him much longer! As for the merger - I doubt it if that will happen ... how will SARU "force" the Cheetahs to do it or do they have that much power? Should it happen though, I think the Cheetahs will be in a sronger position to make sure that the structure favours them? I do however think that they will be able to field a killer team if you can combine their resources but then, the experience of playing together is gone. At the rate the Cheetahs' players are leaving, they might be happy to accommodate the Lions! ;-)

  • Lance - 2012-05-24 10:30

    Sad to see players go, blame the weak Rand or the reality that each players next game could be his last.....There are plenty Vodacom cup/varsity players who have the potential to play S15...Provincial allegiance will be out the window if an offer came to any VC player..and they probably wont cost an arm and a leg either..

  • Emile - 2012-05-24 10:35

    No amount of miney can compensate for the terrible climate, living conditions, lifestyle and people in Europe. They should pay them even more in Europe. On a more serious note - player exodus is a MAJOR problem and I can't understand why South Africa can't invest more in top sportsmen.

  • deonk - 2012-05-24 10:39

    Jacque Fourie, Habana, Big Joe, Willem Alberts, Jano Vermaak, Schalk Brits, Wickus van Heerden, Doppies... losing players like these are one of the reasons why the Lions have been the Wooden spoon team for years.

      paul.sdoow - 2012-05-24 10:57

      as a stormer i not proud to say it but too true. as wp bought most of your listed players. but agree one hundred percent with you. and you also need to mention the griquas they produce brilliant currie cup rugby but lose the good players befor they get a chance to progress to super level.

  • Matches - 2012-05-24 14:53

    I feel strongly that Freestate Rugby is the development hub for SA rugby and that the bigger franchises should pay a development fee to Freestate. In fact maybe rugby should adopt the payment principle from soccer whereby a player is bought from the franchise. This can then become the means whereby franchises can get a hold on their talent and also sustain income for development.

  • Hugo - 2012-05-24 17:17

    Who the Dinges is Izak van der merwe? Van der West.... nevermind didn't expect more

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