Cape Town - Scotland centre Huw Jones is adamant that South African rugby remains healthy.
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Jones, who finished his career in South African when he helped Western Province to win this year’s Currie Cup, is one of several players having left these shores for lucrative contracts abroad.
The 24-year-old, who was born in Scotland, is now contracted to the Glasgow Warriors and unlikely to ever play for a South African team again.
The midfielder already boasts 11 Test caps for Scotland and his presence will be missed by the Stormers in next year’s Super Rugby competition.
It’s a been a tough last two years for the national team, the Springboks - who have won just 11 of 25 Tests - with many using the player drain to overseas clubs as a major contributing factor.
But Jones, who was man-of-the-match when WP beat the Sharks 33-21 in the Currie Cup final in Durban, disagrees.
“South African rugby is very healthy. It gets bad press quite unfairly sometimes. If you look at the talent in the country, there are so many good players, the teams are performing well, and I think it will just get better and better. People may be critical, but there is no reason to be about South African rugby,” Jones told Springbok Magazine.
Jones added that he enjoyed his time in South African rugby and highlighted Western Province’s Currie Cup win as the standout.
“It has to be at the top. This is my first professional trophy, although it is the second trophy I have won in South Africa. The other was the Varsity Cup (for UCT).”