Former Springbok wing James Small says the Boks should follow New Zealand’s example and only pick local players.
Small, who played 47 Tests between 1992 and ’97, feels it’s a bit unfair that players can just head abroad and still expect to walk into the Springbok team.
The current Springbok squad is littered with players plying their trade overseas as there is no restriction on the amount coach Heyneke Meyer can call on.
“For me it’s about loyalty and the pride of pulling the Springbok jersey over your head,” Small told the Beeldwebsite.
“It feels like the guys playing overseas who earn the big bucks aren’t always as loyal as they should be.”
Small feels the mixture of local and overseas players in the same squad means there are “different levels of players” in the same team.
“I’m not sure if that’s always a healthy situation,” he said.
Small said the Boks should follow New Zealand’s example by only picking local players.
“The All Blacks are well organised and do the right things at all levels. Just look at how their teams play in Super Rugby – all play the same pattern.
“Here in South Africa every team does its own thing and the playing styles are nowhere near the same,” said Small.
The 45-year-old Small is currently involved in coaching at the Leopards.
He is a coaching assistant to the team as they attempt to gain promotion to the Currie Cup Premier Division via qualifying competition, which also involves Griquas, SWD, Boland, Border, Griffons and Falcons.
Former Springbok scrumhalf and team-mate of Small, Robert du Preez, is the Leopards’ coach.
Small also assisted Du Preez during the Varsity Cup, when they led Pukke to the final.