Bravo, SA Rugby! – Jake

Jake White

Bravo, SA Rugby, bravo! Well done for informing overseas clubs that South Africa will be enforcing the requirements of World Rugby’s Regulation 9 by insisting that players called up during Test windows are released for duty.

This should have been done a long time ago. If we had taken a stand on Regulation 9 when our players first started going overseas, European clubs would quickly have realised that signing South Africans is risky business.

The 30-cap rule produced the opposite outcome. The La Rochelle owner in France thought he had hit the jackpot when he signed Wiaan Liebenberg because he got an uncapped 26-year-old who was good enough to captain the SA U20s but who couldn’t be called up to the Boks.

But last week the La Rochelle owner got a letter from SA Rugby to say that the honeymoon is over and there is no more 30-cap rule. Players like Wiaan are back on Rassie Erasmus’ shopping list.

We should never have allowed a situation where players with 30 or more caps could go overseas and still be regulars for the Boks. Running out for the Springboks and wearing that jersey should always be the pinnacle of any South African player’s career. But it’s like a parent that lets their child cross the line for a while and is now putting their foot down – better late than never!

There’s no club in the world that wants to sign a player knowing that he could be missing at important parts of the season. What’s going to happen now is that those European clubs are going to think twice about signing SA players because they could be pulled out of the squad every time there’s a national team selection. And the spin-off from that is you’re going to get more talent staying in South Africa and developing the next generation of players.

However, to get this right, it’s crucial that SA Rugby doesn’t allow certain players to occasionally excuse themselves from Tests without retiring from international rugby, because that will make a mockery of this plan.

The decision to halve the number of professional players in South Africa will see the best players offered bigger contracts to stay at home, but it will also mean that many young, non-contracted players look overseas. In response, Erasmus must systematically call up those overseas-based players so that they have to make a choice between upsetting their club owner, or officially retiring from Test rugby.

That’s a difficult decision for a 26-year-old who has never been to the World Cup and, as the national coach, I would want to know from day one which players really want to be Boks and which are just hedging their bets.

If we don’t follow through like this, and youngsters can indefinitely earn Euros and play for the Boks, all of the best players will be overseas while SA Rugby overpays the leftovers who were never going to go abroad anyway.

I’ve always been against picking overseas players and that hasn’t changed. The overseas-based Boks who end up being part of Rassie’s long-term plans should have to agree in writing to return home when their current Euro contract expires.

But SA Rugby must defend their biggest asset, the players, and by making sure that every Bok squad announcement includes a contingent of well-paid overseas players, European club owners will be deterred and more of our top talent will remain in Super Rugby.

- Jake White

Let's chat

  • Wesley

    Queue the debate on “undeserving quota players” getting contracts in 3, 2, 1…………….

    • Barry

      Wesley, sadly, whilst we have any form of selection control in place, there will be debate. The answer is to get rid of it – end of debate!

    • John Comyn

      Not to harp on the same subject but here is Dobson’s take:

      “”Whoever won that game or whoever lost it had reason to feel aggrieved,” he said.

      “There was a lot of pressure on that referee towards the back end of that game.

      “We’ve got one or two things about that game that we were probably also unhappy about, maybe not as seismic as it was towards the end, but during the game definitely.”

      • Herman Schroder?

        No John it was an ambush and the home team held all the weapons to ensure that the myth that is Stormers rugby lives on for another week, finish and klaar. The only way the Lions could have won that game was to take the ref out of the game by scoring more tries and giving the Stompies no chance of stealing it. I’m disappointed they did not do that against a pathetic Stormers outfit with 12 resident Springboks in their midst.

        In a way they deserved to get pipped because they also need a wake up call imo and their new ‘dom krag’ approach is a huge problem for me and it came back to bite them in the last ten minutes. Still doesn’t excuse the poor ‘home town’ officiating though, disgraceful really. Cheers.

        • Greg Shark

          Whaaaat…… ‘looks at the scoreboard’…. you great free running team got a last second klap and you’re whining? How many times have the great lions beaten a team in the last seconds along with dubious reffing and not a peep from you hermie, other than to say great teams find a way to win…. suck it up!

      • Wesley

        Thats a pretty good analysis from Dobbo right there. Its all true and i agree with it entirely. If anybody actually reads the posts i made yesterday on the subject instead of taking the “if you not with us, you are against us” stance, i would not feel the need to clarify it as such.

    • SweetAz

      Well,—an undeserving quota ref robbed the Lions on Saturday. As hy lê steek hy en as hy staan steel hy.

      • Herman Schroder?

        Thanks Mr SweetAz, all is not lost for you. Cheers.

      • Sharky

        The fact that people even link the mistakes the ref made with race proves the damage that quotas have done. If quotas didn’t exist people would just say he had a bad day (or maybe even that he’s a bad ref), but now people say he’s a bad ref who is only there cos he’s black.

        Quotas mean that black players and officials have to continually prove themselves for fear of being labelled a “quota!.

        • Herman Schroder?

          Agree wholeheartedly. And it’s unconstitutional. Cheers.

      • Chris Mouton

        Yoh, that’s so racist! You know Sweets, I’ve always agreed with you regarding certain topics and it’s a lot of fun taking the piss with the guys on this forum, but that comment of yours made me lost all respect for you.

        • SweetAz

          That’s fine Chris, I call it as I see it.
          I was taking the piss to a certain extent just to see how many buttons I could push because the usual suspects had to make the first comment on the article about race when absolutely nothing Jake had to say was race related.

          I may be wrong about this specific referee but I only have to point to the myriad of things going wrong with every single institution in SA to prove my point, never in the history of the world has so many institutions been robbed blind and driven into the ground through sheer incompetence.

          I don’t get offended when people call me racist, I don’t regard it as a pejorative label.

          • Chris Mouton

            “As hy lê steek hy en as hy staan steel hy.” I’m referring to this, not the ref. Who is this “hy” you are referring to? As long as people refer to people different than themselves as “them” or “they”, there will always be hate. And then so many racists deny that they have hate. Unfortunately one cannot reason with racists. I find it strange that you can discriminate against someone, just because they look different than you. Funny thing is, can you tell the difference between a white and black person when their skeletons are buried next to each other?

          • Wesley

            Read this thread again and see whos buttons got pushed. Damn you are gullible. Hook line and sinker.

        • Wesley

          Too bad taking the piss he was taking was never actually funny…

          • Wesley

            Damn, screwed up my own comeback there… Lets try again.

            Too bad the piss he was taking was never actually funny…

      • Spartan

        And no white ref has ever made a mistake????

        • Greg Shark

          this debate on quota refs always has me in stitches of laughter and why? Well, if anybody cares to be honest, how many times ‘wuz we robbed’ by very poor reffing decisions from antipodean refs and even UK and French refs…YET we never seem to find a ‘quota’ reference for them. SR is full of new refs finding their feet and making monumental stuff ups – its not ‘quota’ its just inexperience! Anybody think the white RSA refs are so good….?….

      • Wesley

        Only you will say so Sweet. Goodluck with that….

        • SweetAz

          Well, you are one of the big “quota” supporters so you’ve got to take the good with the bad,—-don’t go cherrypicking like your mate Schrodinger. The ref either robbed you or he didn’t, he’s either incompetent or he isn’t. Take your pick.

          • Herman Schroder?

            SweetAz. No cherry picking here for me mate – we wuz robbed by not only incompetence but home town officials of all colours who succumbed to the pressure.

            I do however support your take on the destruction of all facets of life in sunny SA through the shenanigans of the ruling party. But then again no one needs to be a rocket scientist to realize that, all you need to do is watch the three current ‘Commissions of Inquiry’ currently underway here to see just how deep the rot goes and how and why the ruling party has brought this country to it’s knees. Cheers.

          • Wesley

            He didnt rob anybody, especially not me. He’s just a cuc ref, just like many others. I dont support quotas, i just dont believe any player at top level is quota, regardless of some bull policy. If we saying any player thats gets given a better chance at succeeding, then all boys coming out the top 20 rugby schools are quota (having a damned full time physio and kicking coach does give you a pretty big advantage). I had my motor mech teacher coaching me at senior school level. Was i then robbed of opportunity? You dont see me complaining do you? Its not my fault you automatically connect incompetence with quota and henceforth black persons because of your well established racist views.

  • Barry

    Thanks Jake an interesting perspective.

    None of us want to see our National Team watered down or held in lower esteem than club sides, but the reality is that the horse has already bolted. The major clubs in Europe have made huge investments in people assets and they will do whatever is necessary to protect those assets. Parties should rather be looking for a win/win scenario rather than trying to regulate, what are essentially other people’s assets!

  • John Comyn

    I always respect your opinion Jake however I must mention that you have no qualms about head hunting SA players. Are you going to stop, given the new dispensation.

  • Barry

    Jake has put this across as some sort of revelation that SA Rugby are now planning to enforce article 9. Well, it’s not a revelation, they have simply managed themselves into a position where they have no other options!

    I am sorry to say, but Remgro’s Erasmus is at the core of the problem! We all know that senior Springboks move overseas after the World Cup, but what is different this time is that shunned fringe players have also made the move over seas. Many will have read yesterday report that Sale Sharks have signed Rob Du Preez for 3 years, Dan & Jean Luc for a shorter period and are in the process of finalizing Akker VDM and Steven Kitshoff. I am sure there are many others.

    Erasmus had the opportunity to keep these guys in the mix by including them in the year end tour, but instead he played the political game and shunned them. Consider for a moment whether you would rather have Akker VDM in your Springbok arsenal in 2020, rather than Schalk Britz?

    • Chris Mouton

      Spot on, Barry. I’m so sad that the Du Preez brothers and Akker are on their way out. Who can blame them? My hope is that the Sharks can go all the way this year and give these guys a proper send-off before the changing of the guard.

      • Albert

        Even though I am not a Sharks supporter, I hope they win it this year. They do have a good squad with some impressive depth and at this stage look the best equipped of all the SA teams to actually make the final. So for the sake of the Boks in a World Cup year, lets hope for a Sharks v Lions final with the Sharks taking it.

        • Barry

          Thanks Albert, let’s hope so, though early days. Coming weekend will be a good tester. Most of the press this weekend has been from Dobbo, so seems playing more of a leading role than structures would suggest. He’s a capable chap, so it’ll be a big one!

      • Barry

        Agreed Chris, the strength that the Sharks have this year, skill aside, is that they have been together for several years now and with that comes continuity and hopefully success! But next year back to square one!

        • SweetAz

          Well its what worked for the Lions contrary to what some people think, I personally believe it is the biggest contributor to success in ANY team sport. Cohesion, Cohesion, Cohesion and not AAA.

          • Herman Schroder?

            Last Saturday AAA would have put away the woeful Stompies long before the officials decided that to ensure they safely reached their cars that evening was to engineer a result befitting the occasion. Cheers.

  • Logan

    We simply need to get rid of the 50% number and get rid of the term quotas.

    So far I have been really impressed with the sharks black players. I wasn’t a big fan of Am last year as his defense was really poor. But in the first 2 games this season he made some game changing tackles. Especially the one on Saturday that lead to the intercept from Bosch.

    Fassi looks like a quality player with a lot of ball sense, Nkosi and Mpimpi we already know what they can do. These guys would be regular starters for any first class team. This doesn’t mean they should be automatic bok choices, but having them on the fringes won’t hurt.

    I do think it is a shame that we will lose the Du preez brothers. Especially the fact that they got snubbed for Notche who got completely man handled by them in the CC final.

    Then Trevor and Gcobo did really well for the bulls against the Bargies. Especially when Trevor went of and their pack got owned.

    That said, the talent is coming through but not the numbers the politicians like. Which is my point. They wil come, but our Government need to start investing in sports schools that give pupils the chance from a young age to have a decent roof over their head, fed 3 decent meals a day and easy access to schools.

    I don’t see why boarding schools can’t help. I was a boarder and were treated really well in comparison. I hated it as I was not with my family but it was hugely beneficial.

  • Herman Schroder?

    It’s rather funny that I have been preaching for years now that overseas players should NOT be considered for Bok selection and now seemingly Jake’s agrees, as well as some of the posters on this forum. The way Remgro Erasmus is going in the future the entire Bok team will be picked from overseas with a few local Stormers players thrown in to keep Mr Rupert happy.

    SweetAz has posted that Cohesion is the central core to ensuring a team’s success. But tell me how does bringing a plethora of overseas players into the Bok team at short notice before the tests enhance the cohesion of the team ?? The two top ranked teams in the world do not do so but we believe we can ? Given the poor Bok showing last year with a generous sprinkling of mercenaries in the ranks, I think probably answers the question. AC tried it as well with similar results.

    However in Jake’s last paragraph he suggests we challenge the club bosses by picking overseas players and then enforcing Regulation 9. Does he really think that will faze them ? After the WC the world of rugby will be turned on it’s head with SA, Aussies and New Zealanders all heading for the ‘holy grail’ of rugby in the Northern Hemisphere in large numbers. To further complicate matters there are signs that clubs over there are embarking on more ‘home grown’ players in their teams. An ever dwindling pool of opportunities seems the natural outcome especially for SA players.

    Firstly the reduction of the contracted base in SA is going to be halved next year leaving plus minus 450 players technically unemployed. Those who are already overseas will have to make a future call on whether to continue with club rugby by resigning from international rugby or returning to SA if their clubs ditch them, Then the players of the paler persuasion have to consider whether they have a realistic chance of getting their foot in the door due to the ‘racist’ policy of team selections. Not a very pretty picture for those who wish to play for ‘king and country’ one feels.

    As always SA has a tendency to shoot itself in the foot and rugby is no different. Erasmus has not proven that he has the ability to piece this nightmare together and is pinning all his hopes on WC glory. What if he fails like he did last year ? We will be left with a right proper mess and a lot of rugby players in the unemployment lines.

    No Jake it’s not ‘Bravo’ it’s more like not thinking through the actual effects of these decisions just like our politicians do so ‘effectively’ in Parliament everyday. Cheers.

    • SweetAz

      They don’t really have a choice mate, it’s not like they have the money to pay the players. The reality is NOBODY can save South Africa or the Boks, the 2 are entwined in a death spiral. The only way is down and unfortunately, the end will include a lot of civil unrest making rugby a sideshow. So blaming Rassie is counterproductive, there really is nothing he can do differently. As far as cohesion goes, you may not want to hear this but your Lions WERE playing AAA,—–they just couldn’t get it right because they lack cohesion, as does everybody else and will continue for as long as the player drain/turnover continues. For crying out loud, it sound like about half the Snaaks team are also leaving next year.

      Dont get sidetracked by the smoke and mirrors, SARU is so deep in the shit they are on life-support. Rassie doesn’t actually want to be the coach but there is nobody else.—–Unless Paul Treu has got the job lined up.

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