Allegedly in order to qualify for SA Schools (which will be probably be announced on Monday 15 July 2019) , players turning 18 in the calendar year will have to make themselves available for SA u20 squad for the next two years. So for those players who plan to move to European based clubs after they matriculate, they either have to turf those plans or reach a compromise with their Euro clubs so that they be based in South Africa from February to June.
Tut! Sounds like a kak deal!
SA Rugby is falling apart at the seams. As an aspiring school-leaver rugby player you can no longer afford to base your plans on making a name for yourself in South Africa. Young Saffas have to entertain realistic concerns that every month spent in their motherland is potentially a month that the gap between them and promising players of similar ability based abroad widens because SA no longer has the financial resources, the correct succession plan to promote the right good coaches or the leadership at the top to keep pace. In 2020, that gap might not be so great but guaranteed by 2021 it will grow and by 2022 it will be even bigger. In five years time we’ll arrive at a point where a youngster’s make or break will be determined by him getting into Europe straight after school. By then we’ll look back at the teen pioneers of 2019 and realise that they weren’t traitors or anything of that nature – they were smart to jump ship when they first spotted it taking on water.
Anyway being picked for SA Schools should be because of his past achievements as a schoolboy rugby player and not some future held for ransom decision made by inefficient, insecure posers who are busy turning something that was once great into junk status.
SA rugby supporters are eventually going to make the same decision as these teen pioneers. Right now, today, you as a fan of this wonderful great game should be carefully examining what’s happening to rugby in this country, the decisions that are being made or not being made, the influences that have taken a grip but are so far removed from what it means to be professional and so far removed from an ambition which should always be to strive to be the best international rugby playing country in the world. On the course that SA is on, the ability to attain these high standards is disappearing fast, probably forever.
I’m actually surprised that European rugby clubs are not visibly present in SA, trying to grow their market share and global appeal by soliciting your support. It is inevitably that they will eventually get close to 100% of it. Either that or you will most likely end up turning your back on rugby altogether.