Robbie Kempson (Gallo Images)
Cape Town – Insisting that all Springboks play domestically is the best way to “restore pride” in the national jersey, says former Bok prop and pundit Robbie Kempson.
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Speaking on SuperSport’s “RWC Master Plan” programme which has run during the current World Cup in the United Kingdom, the 1998 Tri-Nations title-winning front-ranker said he backed the decision by Argentinean rugby bosses to make it compulsory for all players wishing to represent the Pumas next season to play for the new Buenos Aires-based franchise in remodelled Super Rugby.
“It will help galvanise a (national) side that will produce for them, going forward.”
But the 37 Test-cap Kempson added that he felt South Africa had “missed a trick” through their policy for the latest World Cup, which allowed for squad inclusion of seven players who are exclusively contracted to overseas franchises – Fourie du Preez, Zane Kirchner, Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Ruan Pienaar, Francois Louw and Schalk Brits.
Some other Boks split their non-international duties between SA Super Rugby sides and Japanese clubs, or are about to.
The Springboks have lost twice thus far at RWC 2015 and been elbowed out of the semi-finals by the All Blacks; all they have left is the playoff for third place with Argentina on Friday.
Kempson said: “We’ve missed a trick ... we brought back a few players from overseas (for RWC), but I think we need to put the pride back in the Bok jersey.
“You should have to play in South Africa to wear that jersey; I don’t think there should be exceptions for any players whatsoever.
“When we do get that (policy) back, a lot will change.”
Kempson believes the defending champions and globally No 1-ranked New Zealanders benefit from the home-based culture in their Test ranks.
“They all play in NZ for as long as they possibly can, regardless of what is happening (abroad). They get massive offers anyway.
“But they are prepared to stay and play for that jersey ... we need that pride back.”
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