April 1, 2013 in Uncategorized
The UK home unions have been targeting young Southern Hemisphere rugby players for a while now and their national teams are filling up with Saffer and Kiwi players. In the past they were quite happy with players qualifying through the residency route but their latest strategy is to target young players who qualify through their ancestry.
Recently New Zealanders Sean Maitland walked into the Scotland team due to his grand parents being Scottish and the home unions are said to be targeting a number of South African youngsters too.
Young Tuks lock Mike Williams, who holds a British passport, has been lured to an English club to continue his career.
Timo Swiel, who also holds a British passport and has declined selection to the 2013 Under 20 Springboks, South Africa’s designated second team, as it would affect his chances to be selected for England.
Handre Pollard, who qualifies for England through his grand parents, played for the U/20 Boks last year but as he was still under 18 he is exempt from the IRB regulation and can still qualify for England without going through a residency period.
Patrick Lambie also holds a British passport and with both English and Scottish grandparents could qualify for either England and Scotland. Moves are afoot to get IRB exemption for Lambie as he first played for South Africa when he was still a minor and the Bok management might not have explained his options to him on reaching majority and therefore prevented him from making an informed decision.
This is just a tip of the ice berg and one can expect this onslaught against SA rugby not only to continue but to escalate.
Edit: I hope you enjoyed my attempt at an April Fool’s joke. Till next year,