SARU has promulgated a new regulation to ensure that the contracting of promising schoolboy rugby players is done above board, according to a report on the SuperSport website.
From now on, if a union wishes to contract a schoolboy rugby player, it will first have to inform the boy’s home union, being the union in which the schoolboy plays his rugby, with the proviso that the schoolboy is willing to negotiate with his home union.
The object is to give the home union a chance to offer the boy a competitive contract.
Unions are allowed to contract players only when they are over the age of 18 but they are allowed to offer academic bursaries to boys between the ages of 16 and 18.
SARU has also decided that recruiting of players at national rugby weeks, including Craven Week, are forbidden. No person, union or agent is allowed to make any offer to schoolboy players during the week of the tournament.
This clearly does not apply to the many other tournaments before the national weeks which have been fruitful recruiting ground for gathering young players, even those still at school and who are then transported to northern climes.
The southern unions have been especially fruitful for northern unions in search of black and coloured players.