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Erasmus explains SA Rugby’s revised contracting system

Another important note is that SA Rugby has scrapped their 30-rule on overseas players and are now free to select any South African abroad.

FILE: Rassie Erasmus. Picture: @Springboks/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - SA Rugby’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has explained the reasoning behind the body’s recent revamp of its entire contracting system.

Another important note is that SA Rugby has scrapped their 30-rule on overseas players and are now free to select any South African abroad.

Added to this, they will enforce World Rugby’s Regulation 9‚ which stipulates that clubs release players for international duty in the designated World Rugby windows.

Under the new model players will be ranked by position as to widen the pool and stem the flow of South African players moving abroad.

Those players in South Africa will receive top-up payments from their provinces, funded by SA Rugby.

Erasmus says it is all about being realistic about the future and the current economic climate rugby in the country finds itself in.

“I think succession planning in South Africa is something currently that we struggle to do, just because it's cutthroat, you're not always sure how many players you are going to lose at the end of this year.

“We are competing with a massive exchange rate and with clubs on the other side who doesn't always have a business model. It's a rich owner, who has as a lot of money to spend on players whether they are worth it or not. If we try and compete with that all the time, we'll just exhaust our budget and our succession planning on this side will just be impossible”

There will no doubt be an exodus of South African players post World Cup as European suitors offer lucrative contracts.

Erasmus realises you cannot stop this exchange, but SA Rugby will attempt but not overstretch, in their effort to keep star players.

“We just can't bet in that area anymore. Those guys just have too much money and I think the more we try to talk around that, the more we just getting our self-more into a corner.

“If we want to keep players for a R8/9 million and you keep four players here, you close to R40 million and some of our union’s budgets are R60 million. So, you give money to four players and then you still must try and build a squad around that and then one or two of those players gets injured and your budget's gone.

“We're not going to bet against these big guys anymore, we can’t afford them. We're going to try and spread our money through more players. What does that mean? If a big-name player leaves, his money becomes available and we start putting it into the bottom of our system. That money gets put back into the system into younger guys, the next generation.”