BOKS CHANGE SELECTION POLICY... AGAIN
SOUTH AFRICA HAVE BACK-TRACKED ON THEIR PLAN TO ONLY ALLOW THE SPRINGBOKS LIMITED ACCESS TO OVERSEAS PLAYERS AND INSTEAD OPENED THE DOOR TO ANYONE ELIGIBLE REGARDLESS OF WHERE THEY ARE BASED.
Initially when Rassie Erasmus took over as Springboks coach in early 2018 he was told he would only be able to pick overseas players with 30 test caps or more. If he wanted someone with less, he’d have to present a special case that would be reviewed.
That plan has been scrapped, though, and now he will have access to any player even if they have never played test rugby.
“Rassie has got a year to prepare the team, and in this, the last year [before the World Cup] he’s allowed to pick players locally and abroad,” SA Rugby president Mark Alexander said.
“He’s been speaking to some players [overseas] and we’ve given him leeway to do that.
“He only has 18 tests between now and the World Cup and he wants to give everyone an opportunity to be seen to make the Springboks team.
“There’s no limit on the number of players he can pick [from overseas]. There’s an agreement for him to perform and we don’t want to limit him in that regard. He has access to the [overseas] players and can utilise them when and how he requires.”
Erasmus will no doubt have his own thoughts but the list of previously capped Springboks playing overseas in extensive. It includes Frans Steyn, Juan de Jongh, Vincent Koch, Duane Vermeulen, Bismarck du Plessis, Faf de Klerk, Cobus Reinach, Jan Serfontein, Willie le Roux, JP Pietersen, Pat Lambie and Ruan Ackermann.
RACING AHEAD Pat Lambie has been showing all of his skills at Racing 92 this year and could be in line for a Boks recall.