Heyneke Meyer’s policies hurting SA rugby??

January 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

We do live in a professional era and I am all for choosing overseas based players when needed.
But HM’s new policy of choosing players (who are available) from all over the world will have a very negative impact on SA rugby.


Now I am not talking about players like Strauss (josh and richardt), Nel or Barrit. Who all could play for the Boks (maybe) but decided to try and qualify for another nation. Nor am I talking about players like Botha, Fourie, Du Preez ect. who have done their bok stints and are cashing in at the end of their careers.


I am talking about current Bok’s who are now willing to play in England, France or Japan(less) because they know their chances of making the Bok squad are not lessened.  Players like Kruger and Habana(next season). Add to this that a guy like Flo who has become a Bok regular are not really contemplating returning anytime soon. This is only the beginning and if HM continues with his policy then many more regular Boks may start to follow them. Rumors are already surrounding Andries Bekker. I mean who would not want to earn more money?


Now I am not saying we should go the Nz route of never selecting any overseas based players. But we should maybe adopt the P.Divvy rule that we first select our best players who is playing in RSA and if we have a crises then we start looking at overseas based players.


Because although it sounds nice having a real professional era where you can select the best players never mind where they are playing this does come at some costs.
For one the players are only released a week before the tests starts and can’t be part of any in between training or think camps. The coach also have influence on when the player should be rested. (not that this is the case in SA any way atm)
Then there is the lowering of the standard of the local game, with so many regular Boks not playing even SR anymore the experience levels in the SR squads will drop considerably.
We also have to remember that when players have lived in another country for a long period their culture change and integrating overseas based players with the local ones will become more and more difficult.
It is no coincidence that Spain is dominating world soccer cause most of their players play in Spain. As to Brazil and Argentina who also has brilliant players but struggle to bond as teams.
There must be some motivation for players to stay in SA and play the rugby locally. It always has been that if you leave SA you severely lower your chances of playing for the Boks. But if HM are going to stick to his selection policies as is then there really is no incentive for the players to stay in SA.


Come on SARU for once step-up while the problem is still in its infancy and stop it dead. Make a policy that you can only select overseas based players in an emergency. This will force players to stay and those that have already left to really consider moving back!!!!!



13 responses to Heyneke Meyer’s policies hurting SA rugby??

  1. Dont think well see as many overseas based players next year, as the boks had quite allot of injuries, as well as a really young team last year with little or no leader ship to talk about.

    but im with you when it comes to the selection of overseas based players

    • Maybe be true. But the fact that a guy like Juandre Kruger, who is a regular in bok squad just turned his back on the Bulls is worrying. He is only 28/29 and only at the start of his Bok career. He is obviously banking on being selected even when playing in France.
      Now what is Bekker does the same? Could spell problems.

      • I was thinking the same especially since Juandre was newly capped player and is quite irritating being avid Bulls supporter, but he is turning 28 and has basically plus minus 4 years left to make some good money. luckily we have some good young players coming through like Paul Willemse and the kind who is still under 21.

  2. I dont agree! I think profesional players should be allowed to ply their trade wherever it suits them. The example of the Spanish F league is a bad one. Most Spanish clubs are very close to bankruptcy due to the huge salarys paid to their stars! It is a fact that top players will be head hunted by overseas clubs and it is unfair to expect these players to have to choose between making a good living and Bok selection! In my opinion pick the best players world wide and the local game will have to think out of the box to up their product!

    • For me that is short sighted. Yes in the short term it won’t have any real effect but it will lower the class of the local squads and thus lower the standard of the local game.
      This will leave us with not much quality depth at all.

      The All Blacks knows this thus their extreme policies. We cannot compete with French or Japanese clubs.

      I am all for the players playing where ever they like and earning as much as they can. But then they should know it will be at some cost.

      Forget about the Spain example it is Brazil and Argentina’s examples that are the true reflections. Argentina has the best player in the world and a good squad yet can’t get anywhere because the team can’t play as a unit. These players aren’t real Argentine’s anymore. A guy like Messi has lived in Spain since he was 13 or something.

      • Talk about short sighted… I think your views are missing a couple of key factors.
        The example of football clubs are a bit pointless as the likes of Messi earns A LOT more than our top players. Messi, and if fact other footballers can afford to stay loyal to their clubs as the day the sign up they in fact become millionaires. Our rugby legends earn about the same as a average footballer in the UK!
        Which brings me to the All Black. Yes as you rightly pointed out – they have strict policies about picking oversees players. And given they don’t get paid well either (probably less than the boks) this is amazing. However you forget their catchment area for rugby players are VERY small compared to the likes of the Boks, England, etc. I think they are probable on par with the Scots when it comes to catchment area. Yet at the end of their careers they also play abroad! And I bet it rumours are true and Carter move to France, he will be selected for the Blacks come 2015 RWC.
        And that brings me to the final point. Though I agree losing a hell of a lot of talented players is not great – this is surely not HMs fault? Surely HMs contract has performance clauses about win/lose ratio? The man (HM) is not exactly in a great position: Win (with oversees players) and people like yourself question his policies, Lose (with a young homegrown team) and people call for his head. HM actually has one of the best track records of growing his own talent… I don’t need to rattle off the names of know legends he spotted, grown, and helped to become greats! Also, I think we have a wider problem – only 15 players can be on the pitch at any given time, and another 15 or so in the extended squad. That leaves approx 30 players can can be called up for Boks duties. We have how many rugby players in SA??? Where are the great talent suppose to go if the do not make the cut for the Boks? Stay loyal to their provinces and earn a mediocre salary? Or at least make some money? Most rugby players have at best 10 years of playing rugby, after which they have to restart a brand new career. How many of us do that?

  3. It is a very difficult one! A guy like Louw has come on in leaps and bounds in Europe but I would find it difficult to believe that guys in Japan could improve or even be nearly as good! I just battle with holding a player to ransom if he wants to play for the Boks. You dont think that there is maybe enough school talent always feeding through that will even increase our depth? And maybe setting some sort of standard for overseas based players to qualify for Bok selection. Maybe game time, strength of league etc? But hell its a tricky one!

    • You might have more professional rugby players but the quality of the players will drop.

      As for Flo he played brilliant rugby for the Stormers before he went to Eng. He has maybe gown a bit but that comes with experience. Do not think EU standard is as high as SR.

  4. Maybe it will turn out that you are right about there being a “new policy” but at this stage I think it is speculation. There were so many retirements and injuries last season that the coach had to pick overseas based players. And in the case of Louw it followed the old policy of only picking an overseas based players if there are no adequate local replacements – which there weren’t. Other than Louw the majority of the overseas players got picked for the year end tour and I think partly that was due to fatigue as well. Juandre Kruger might not get picked at all during the Championship if he plays in Europe and if he isn’t surely that indicates that there is no significant change in policy?

  5. It really is a tricky one! Firstly, the coach wants to pick the best 22 SA players to play for the boks. What if a guy like Bismarck goes and plays in Europe, would you leave him out even if he is by far the best hooker in the world?
    But ja I also believe that we should try and keep all our best players in SA. If only SARU could up player salaries a bit to at least compete with overseas offers. Maybe other countries should pay SARU if they want a saffer playing for them in their leagues!
    But on the other hand Darren. A rugby player’s shelf life is very short, and he needs to look after himself and his family. Now if you can earn 10x the amount of money elsewhere, with only a slim chance of making the bok team, why would you stay? I think they should contract a core group of bok players, lets say 30 of them, which increases their pay and prevents them from playing overseas.

  6. I think the coach should pick the best and fittest South African player from anywhere.

  7. The only reason Francois Louw left was because he was not being chosen. Thats why he left and then he proved himself on another level. He was more than good enough before he left, but because he was continually overlooked because of Brussow he left. You cant use him as an example in this context.

  8. Not considering all the bullshit that befalls SA rugby such as politics etc, lets look at the 2 basic player issues – player duty and his remuneration thereof. SH rugby is becoming congested to say the least, not even mentioning travel and time away from family. Now the fair pay of these duties is debatable, but seeing that most Bok players are one of the best in their positions and doing the most playing and travelling and then getting paid less or even the least when playing in SA compared to their foreign positional counterparts, is very concerning, considering we want to keep them in the country. The Bok jersey alone won’t keep them here. Sorry to say, but if my family goes through crappy times just for me wearing a Bok jersey, my priorities are skewed. SARU needs to pay them more and cut down on the schedule. Thats a much more simple way to do it instead of the usual bullshit rulemaking that they usually do without any success anyway. Maybe that NH deal that popped up in the media a while back may not be a bad solution. SA rugby is propping up the entire SH rugby scene anyway, but funnily enough have no clout to push our own agenda.

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