Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has expressed his concern about the number of talented rugby players South Africa is losing to Ireland.
England has in the past benefitted significantly from the services of South African players. And it now appears the Irish have embarked on a deliberate strategy of identifying and recruiting emerging players from these shores.
In 2012 talented young South African players in CJ Stander (Bulls to Munster), Quinn Roux (WP to Leinster), Danie Poolman (WP to Connacht) all left to further their careers in Ireland, while former Free State Cheetahs hooker Richardt Strauss – who’s been in Ireland for three years – looks set to make his Test debut against the Boks in Dublin on Saturday.
This is something which upsets the Bok coach, especially with suggestions that more raids are planned in the Irish summer.
“We are obviously concerned,” Meyer told the Keo.co.za website. “You want the best players in South Africa. I don’t think suddenly we can have a lot of guys leaving without affecting the depth that we had.
“There’s a perception that we had all this depth. But look at the amount of youngsters we have had to use this year. I just went through the players playing overseas and you would get an unbelievably strong Springbok side just from the players overseas. In every single position there is a great player who is playing overseas.”
The Boks take on Ireland in Dublin on Saturday, followed by a Test against Scotland a week later in Edinburgh before concluding their tour against England in London on November 24.