Cape Town - SA Rugby is reportedly eyeing a new contracting system that would reduce the country’s professional player pool by more than 50%.
Netwerk24 reported on Sunday that there are 989 professional players in South Africa, resulting in R480 million spent on salaries per year.
The new contracting system is aimed at reducing salary costs by at least R75 million and the contracted player pool to 459, which will include the national men’s and women’s sevens teams.
The report added that SA Rugby has also made provision for about 338 semi-professional player contracts for unions not involved in the Super Rugby and PRO14 competitions.
Four franchises - Lions, Sharks, Stormers and Bulls - play Super Rugby, while the Cheetahs and Southern Kings participate in the PRO14.
The other current professional unions are Griquas, Pumas, Leopards, Griffons, Boland, Eastern Province, Border and South Western Districts.
South Africa currently has 989 professional rugby players. Second on the list is England (910), with New Zealand (between 440 and 500), Australia (225) and Ireland (between 180 and 200) having significantly less.
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