Boks secure core players
SARU has offered a core group of players contracts until the end of the 2015 World Cup.
JOHANNESBURG - EWN Sport can confirm this morning that the South African Rugby Union (SARU) has secured the long-term futures of a core group of the Springbok team by offering them contracts until the end of the World Cup in 2015.
Crucially, this means that none of this group of players will leave to play club rugby abroad during this period as this is one of the conditions of the deal.
Up until now, Springbok contracts have only been issued on an annual basis, which has seen a number of experienced players taking up lucrative offers abroad.
This process was concluded a while ago and has been instrumental in ensuring that the likes of Bismarck du Plessis have turned down large financial offers from clubs in France and opted to stay in South Africa.
It's also understood that Japan-based Springbok wing JP Pietersen is still to sign a national contract which has been offered to him for 2015.
He is expected to complete that within a week's time.
The CEO of the South African Rugby Players Association (SARPA), Piet Heymans, told EWN Sport it's a welcome move as the Boks look to win the World Cup in 2015.
"Both ourselves and SARU shared the same vision that longer term contracts are the way to go. Heyneke Meyer played a very important role as he was also able to identify the core players."
Heymans says that it's a significant move for the game in the country.
"It's clearly something that would assist South African rugby and again because we all want South Africa to win the World Cup. It was actually quite an easy negotiation to secure these long term contracts."
Hymans said it was something SARPA felt very strongly about.
"With their provincial contracts together with their Springbok contracts they are now clearly in the same salary range to make it worth their while to remain in South Africa."
THE 10 CORE PLAYERS:
Jean de Villiers
Bismarck du Plessis
Jannie du Plessis