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4548 Topic: Change the game?

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 11981
Change the game?
April 23, 2013, 16:29:04

RICHARD FERGUSON of keo on how he believes the game of rugby should change.

Tony Blair said: “A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in, and how many want out”, a quote that can easily be taken in context with the current situation in South African rugby.

Every week we learn of another player that is heading to Japan, or even worse, heading to Europe, chasing greener playing pastures where the Yen/Pound/Euro pay cheque is not to be frowned upon. It is in these times that we should look to what is chasing them away instead of focusing on the lure.

It is a simple answer – Super Rugby. Super Rugby has gone from being the best rugby competition in the world to just another competition that players are not too disappointed in if they should miss it. It has become the Currie Cup on a bigger scale.

The length of the competition, coupled with the amount of physical strains endured to face local competition in heated battle is simply breaking our players. We have seen it happen in the past and we will continue to see it, in greater scale, as the seasons continue. But you know this already, it is well do[removed]ented and I assume we can all agree on this.

So we know what the problem is, yet nobody is doing anything to prevent our players from crossing the border. One can hardly blame the players; this is their profession after all. One can hardly blame Heyneke Meyer for selecting players based across from our borders, again, it is his job to put the best team on the field and win. So who do we blame?

I will leave the blame-game to others; instead, I want to look towards an answer. Let’s face it, Super Rugby will never go back to the old days of Super 12, where each team plays each other once, we have the play-offs and we are done after three months. So the answer does not lie with the competition, it lies with the management of our players.

Many will dispute the sabbatical Richie McCaw has taken from Super Rugby so far this year. But is it not better to retain a player than to lose him to another competition altogether (More could be said about mcaaaw but delicacy prevents me - this time round!). The focus in South Africa should turn to identifying players like McCaw and putting a plan in place to allow these players to have a few months extra off every so often.

If New Zealand Rugby can allow for McCaw to take six months off, to not only lengthen his career and allow us all to see him play at another World Cup, but to see him play at the best of his abilities because he is not injured for two years at a time, why can we not do the same?
If we can allow Schalk Burger for instance, to sit on the sideline injured for a second year now, why could we not have allowed him a break that would have seen him not injure himself, and probably back playing already? I know that is a simple example, but the real effects of allowing players time off will be beneficial to not only the players, but the competition and the supporters.

This may not be the solution, I accept that it is a bit of a pipe dream, but we need to shift our focus. We are losing players at the rate of knots and nobody is seemingly interested in putting a stop to it. We need South African Rugby to make it worth the while of our players to remain in the country, something that the Rand and the Green and Gold jersey is not doing at this stage.

I read this quote somewhere: “Make the money, don’t let the money make you. Change the game, don’t let the game change you”. I think that is so relevant to the above situation and I can only hope that somewhere someone is changing the game.

Giving players a rest period is at best a very partial answer. Where do we get the boodle!!! Super 15 may just have to change? 


Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1396
RE: Change the game?
April 23, 2013, 17:05:29

first off one cannot argue against the fact that the other nations with the stronger currency is a lot more atrractive options for our can blame them for leaving nor can one blame our country for his rubbish currency...what does one do from a rugby perspective ?????


meyers turnstile selection policy has open the flood gates for all our current crop of top boks to leave the country......the likes this country has never seen before...anyone even disputing that please just google it...the list is growing longer by the minute....the only lure that meyer and saru has to keep the top talent in SA is the bok jumper.....


louw is a prime example...he basicly middle fingered SARU for saying he will not come back to SA and yet he shows zero loyality to SA but he still gets selected by meyer. this is the type of message that meyer and SARU send to players and this is where the shift in power balance is happening.


on the second matter when SARU one day can arrange central contracting then this type of thing wont happen as often. as SARU would then be in a much better position to dictate terms more so that what the unions are.


the last point is SARU should very very very seriously consider joining the english and french teams to form a new local competition. as its in terms of finances a lot more stable and has a lot bigger market share to exploit that the ultra waterdown super 15 we are involved with right now. the rat like peters has managed to con SANZAR into the longer format basicly helping the aussies in creating a new local season for them and not benefiting the the other nations at all...for those that know a thing or 2 we all know that SARU always get the short end of the stick when i comes to any SANZAR agreement as NZ and AUS allways get benefited from the smallest of changes.


the health of the game hangs in the balance for SA. SARU needs to make strong choices now and i must admit to to economic reasons the NH based comp witht he french and poms would really benefit us by would give our boks coaches a bigger player pool to choose from and will benefit our unions from a pure economic perspecive a lot more.


the super 15 will become even more watered down as the likes of japan and the pumas enter the club roster and i cannot see it benefitting SA at all in the long run.


it all starts from management and meyer saying to players that if you go overseas you can kiss your bok jersey goodbye...




Meyers needs to grow a pair of balls...his obsession of winning will at the end of the day cost the boks more than he could every imagine


Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 11981
RE: Change the game?
April 23, 2013, 17:25:50

Muncher I dont believe not playing these guys in the Boks will help. Louw went regardless. Stander regardless. Frans regardless. JP has a huge sum dangled in front of him and no doubt Bekker as well. Offers one cant refuse. JP may get close to what Fourie got R20 million for 2 years!!! How can a player turn that down?

What it means is that any young Bok star is game and can be had!  Think Jan Sefontein once he has that Bok jersey etc.

The NH route would be fine but then we play here in the middle of summer. Not possible? Play under cover - air conditioned stadiums!!!

The issue is financial but also an element has to be the rigours of the long super 15 season which will shortens players careers if not manged properly - as advised by Prof Noakes. Jannie Du Plessis is suffering from playing too much. We saw Morne go right off last year and cost us the rugby championship.

Central contracting could well help and a big drive for sponsors and some creative marketing. Also a combined effort by SANZR to find a solution even if  via the IRB.




Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 11981
RE: Change the game?
April 23, 2013, 17:30:13

Moz and the oaks are argung about selections while Rome burns. Meyer may well not have the players they are mooting should be selected! Crazy 1

Until recently Japan was the second largest economy in the world. They have the boodle. The sponsors are there and they can dish out these huge sums.

Sorry blaming Meyer is  knee jerk reaction like so much fault finding with him.


Status: Baby Bok
Posts: 233
RE: Change the game?
April 23, 2013, 21:43:26

Yea I agree, it's too long, too hard and frankly I lose interest before the end along with half the players. Personally I think super rugby was at it's best back when it was the Super 12.

sasuke uchiha

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 5836
RE: Change the game?
April 24, 2013, 04:02:22

someone correct me if im wrong, but last year wasnt the spXV up in numbers attendance wise and tv ratings in all three countries??? that would be the biggest indicator that not too much will change as SANZAR love the almighty dollar as much as the next business.

but there are two things which IMO are causing the huge player turnover rate in SA at the moment , and the main one is selecting players based overseas.
frans steyn left to play for metro in 09, but he was still selected for Springbok tests in 2009-2011, so why shouldnt other players follow suit??? getting a nice paycheck while still being eligible for the Boks is really like having ur cake & eating it too.
meyer might not have been the first player to select non SA based players in the Boks, but he has taken it to another level all together and this is the root cause for players leaving.

the other reason though not as big a reason as the one above is the lack of success ac[removed]ulated by the Boks and SA teams throughout the whole history of both the TriNats/IRC and super rugby.
in 17 years, SA super rugby franchises have won 3 titles, while the Boks have only won 3 TriNats. for a proud rugby nation like SA thats gotta hurt.
this could be a reason for players the likes of cj stander and timo sweil to not have any Springbok aspirations, O_o,,,,, not saying thats the reasons they wish to play for other countries, just that it could be.

the bottom line is beeno1, u cant say that meyers selecting nonSA based players isnt a reason, when we have only known meyer to select them.
given the talent and depth in SA which u always harp on about, u should be one of the strongest advocates for selecting only SA based players, but i understand the lack of ur convictions, lolz.

IMO Boks and SA rugby would be better served if meyer picked players in SA only, the green jersey is the ultimate goal for nearly all saffas and that incentive will be enough to keep them locked in the country. and for those who are fortunate to get picked, a very fitting reward for all the lucrative sacrafises they have made.


Status: Baby Bok
Posts: 236
RE: Change the game?
April 24, 2013, 08:34:13

Tony Blair said what?  Tony Blair is a muppet so not the best person to quote .

Try quoting George Bush next time maybe.

Alas, with only limited positions available for the All Blacks or Springboks, players have no choice but to look further afield. Look at the last WC where their were Kiwis represented in the teams of 9 different nations.

Thats the trouble we have here in NZ  - far too much talent and only a finite number of positions to fill. Then Australia gladly excepts our rejects eg Q Cooper as do England etc

 The financial incentives are justified given the short career of pro rugby players. After all they're the ones that have to live with their injuries.

Still it should be a while before you spot the Kiwi in the Springbok side don't you think


Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 11981
RE: Change the game?
April 24, 2013, 10:21:13

abnob I cant agree that the Super 15 is too long from a spectator point of view. saSUE surprisingly hits the mark for once when he notes the massive and growing viewership (Something noted here previously).

Talk off SA not having depth is ludicrous. I mean barring injuries we could have the Stormers, Sharks , Bulls and Cheethas in the top six. Plus we could field another two or three Super 15 sides sides via exiles.

No the problem is a financial one. With the right finance one can have a very powerful squad and rotation will limit player burnout.

The kiwi bird brains as usual need schooling by that rugby sage Beeno. They cant seem to see the wood from the trees!

Before slagging off the saffers kiwis do try and beat an Oz team. Hahahhahahahahahaha. And please dont make the SH ashamed by getting pumped by the Poms like that!!!

Steinlarger we certainly dont need any wee showboat ab forwards like read and co!!! Remember how we smashed your pack at Dunedin. Men against boy stuff!  As for Blair the man had more grey matter in his toe than you in the empty head of yours. ROTFLROTFL 

No we do have problems here re quotas, injuries and players going off to make the big bucks. Also we need to have central contracting. Banning all kiwi refs would be a credit to the game as well and would cut the nz win ratio drastically. Bwahahahhahahahahahahaha

I have to admit though its very disappointing to have the sharks with 16 of their squad out and we until recently with 13. Man I think the Sharks and Stormers were the likely finalists with the Stormers to win the trophy.

Seeing the Beeno power pack smashing the wee kiwis would have made my season. Ah well maybe for the Mighty Stormers there is still some hope but the Sharkies are certainly in the dwang!

Unless this player drain and injury story are sorted our rugby is in big trouble. We also desparately need to boot quotas into touch and get our structures right. Our Rand is so weak  playing rugby in SA makes no sense really. Amazing that the players havent all pushed off! A few good years overseas and you are made for life.

Oz and kiwis dont lose as many players overseas because their currency is much stronger and their players not as in demand?

Via ANC viva - how much more of the foot is there left to shoot off!




Status: Baby Bok
Posts: 233
RE: Change the game?
April 24, 2013, 13:30:35

Well I’m genuinely surprised (Sas is the stats man, I don't doubt him) perhaps now that more regions have a team competing maybe at least in part explains the increased popularity. Personally I don't think the rugby is has gotten any better in this competition.



Status: Senior player
Posts: 2483
RE: Change the game?
April 25, 2013, 02:33:51


sorry boys, I think this is the wrong post!






Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 11981
RE: Change the game?
April 25, 2013, 09:32:39

Revealing slip up Hakwa!  Looks a bit like Katie at the bottom there?


Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1396
RE: Change the game?
April 25, 2013, 14:42:34

old hakwa seems to understand the finer things in life :)


it looks 2 SA rugby agents punting to sign a player for overseas LOL


@beeno i agree but sanzar will not lessen the number of games...its a pure money issue and i cannot ever see the SH compete with the NH in terms of pure turn over.....i know there will be logistical issues but seasons these days are in any event a full year season.....i am just trying to fix the income disparity issue but SARU in my view should really consider it..


from a pure logistical perspective for SA TEAMS competing in that leagues makes so much sense. much bugger pool of players to choose from the with our structures we can reuse that money to fund our development ext..


i am a very pro structure person and from a coaching perspective i can only see a coach like meyer benefit from a bigger net of choices

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