Top 14 plans to hurt Boks?

French rugby’s plans for the Top 14 to checkmate Europe could take more pieces off the board for South Africa.

Reports from France have confirmed that SARU’s counterparts in France, League National de Rugby (LNR), will next week discuss the possibility of introducing an exemption for one “marquee player” from each Top 14 club’s salary cap, effective from the 2019/20 season.

As things stand, Top 14 clubs have a cap of €11.3m per season (R185m) which equates to an average of R5m per player in a 35-man squad. The cap on English Premiership clubs, who already have an exemption for two marquee players, is roughly €8m (R130m).

If the LNR adopts the proposed plan to exempt marquee players it is understood that they would also reduce the Top 14 cap by between R5m and R8m, but the net result would have negative implications for SA Rugby.

The Top 14’s multi-millionaire club owners have previously had to balance their appetite for the best players in the Southern Hemisphere against making provision for the rest of the squad. An exemption would make each club’s best player ‘free’, in terms of the salary cap, and spark an arms war between rugby’s richest benefactors in England and France for Sanzaar’s biggest weapons.

It would also counteract SA Rugby’s hopes of generating a player backwash by flooding the European market with talent through the switch to a match-fees payment model.

Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal could conceivably secure the services of Malcolm Marx from 2020 to 2022 with a record-setting deal that doesn’t affect the club’s ability to surround the Bok hooker with blue-chip talent and stay under the cap.

And when that trend is applied across 14 teams in France, and 12 in England, it’s possible that 26 of the Southern Hemisphere’s best players will be accounted for before the those clubs have even started counting beans against the salary cap, and before the Pro14 has cherry-picked the leftovers.

— Staff Writer

- All Out Rugby Staff Writer

Let's chat

  • Barry

    We cannot compete with their currency, so we need to look for the positive in the circumstances that it presents.

    It does create more employment opportunities for our players – we often forget to look at it from a player perspective! We would still have a call on these players at international level.

    Probably the biggest up side would be the fact that French players are being denied opportunities at Top 14 level in preference to imported players! This is already reflecting in their National teams poor performance and it will continue to decline. The positive spin is that we are indirectly screwing up their National teams and getting paid handsomely to do it! Seems fair enough!

    • SweetAz

      Its not a bad thing if ALL the teams get affected by it, but the Irish and AB’s have managed to avoid it by somehow finding the money to pay for a central contracting model and only picking local players. SA indirectly funds the AB model through SANZAAR,—to our own disadvantage. SO this is why I have been saying for a long time, we either need to get the lions share of the SANZAAR money as we are losing the most players or we need to withdraw from SANZAAR, defunding NZ so that the playing field is level and they also have to be in the same boat as everybody else.
      Like I keep on saying and get criticized for,—the NR1 and 2 teams in the world have player and coaching continuity and that is why they are in those positions, EVERYBODY else has a much bigger churn affecting their cohesion.
      You only have to look at the impact of losing a few players had on the Blitzboks,——or did they suddenly start playing domkrag,-lol.

      • nezo

        i agree with you my man. we need to jump sheep. and jumping sheep has the potential to helping us keep our players. through increased sponsorship and attracting billionaires to buy our teams. they will surely be attracted since we produce the best players and we be in a competition that has potential for increasing profits.

        we must jump sheep now.

        • nezo

          look at my ship just for humor

      • Andrew

        Spot on! Couldn’t agree more! Time to get out of SANZAAR.

  • John Comyn

    Did you just say “lion share”???

    • SweetAz

      SHHHHHHhhh,—-you’ll wake the writer of 500 line rants of rubbish

      • Herman Schroder?

        Too late oh confused one, methinks a Freudian slip of the highest order. SA’s top team for four years indelibly imprinted on your subconscious, lol. Cheers.

  • Slider

    Sorry to be padantic, but the LNR is NOT the counterpart of SARU, that would be the FFR (Federation Francaise de Rugby). LNR is in fact the association of the professional clubs and the league they play in. No provinces, no amateurs, no schools to worry about. Imagine that here, a body which works and speaks only for the employers of the professional players.

    It’s like the PSL instead of SAFA in local football.

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