Former Springbok coach Jake White has said the Springboks’ policy of picking overseas players is a ticking time bomb.
Speaking to Ballz Radio, White, currently spending time in South Africa with his family on a break from his duties as Brumbies coach, fired a warning to South African rugby.
White cautioned that SA could lose players, sponsors and weaken domestic rugby if they continued to allow overseas players to be selected for the national side and warned that SARU was at risk of “killing the goose that lays the golden egg”, by diluting the domestic game.
“Rugby is now a global game. If (players) are still allowed to play for South Africa while they are earning money overseas, they would be crazy to stay in South Africa and play domestic rugby,” White said.
White said he was alarmed by the large amount of overseas players now playing for the Springboks.
“Last weekend a team with 10 overseas Springboks beat Argentina. When I coached (the Springboks) I wasn’t allowed to pick players earning money overseas. I was only allowed to pick players if they came back to SA and re-committed themselves to South African rugby.”
“They are sending out the wrong message to young players. You can’t have your cake and eat it. They are going to lose a lot of players to foreign clubs.”
White suggested that if the Springboks continue to pick players overseas, SA rugby could risk losing ground on its traditional rivals.
“Australia and New Zealand don’t (pick foreign-based players for the national team), (SA) are the only team in the top-three that does it,” said White.