South African players overseas

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 16 Jul 2019, 6:26 pm

First topic message reminder :

In recent weeks I’ve read articles concerning South African rugby, in particular their increasing player drain to clubs in Europe and Japan. Bulls alone are set to lose 6 internationals (3 of them lock forwards) to overseas teams after the World Cup, but we know it’s not just their top players being targeted. It is also their uncapped youngsters and the up & coming players; some of which perhaps targeted for that specific reason given that we are seeing more South Africans represent other countries in rugby. South Africa produces some class players every year and I imagine they’re more affordable than ABs, hence why we might be seeing a lot of them overseas.

I’ll post the articles in the comment section below. I was also interested to know who was playing and where, so we can also perhaps start an ongoing list. We can start with our own teams before moving on to the French teams... Please also include players formerly eligible for SA; examples include:
CJ Stander. South African, signed for Munster and qualified for Ireland via residency. Capped by Ireland.
Paul Willemse. South African-Namibian, first signed for Grenoble before moving to Montpellier and qualified for France via residency. Capped by France.
You may include some more recent past players.

Dragons: Brok Harris, Tiaan Loots
Blues: George Earle (set to move on)
Ospreys: Tom Botha, Hanno Dirksen(?)
Scarlets: Werner Kruger, Uzair Cassiem, David Bulbring (moving onto Japan)

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Post by BamBam on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 11:03 am

No, I agree that not all NEQ players are at the level Evans was, but it's not an exact science sadly. Even those who you think should be at that level have struggled in the Prem, someone like Sopoaga was pretty much at the same level Evans was when Wasps signed him (fringe All Black, successful Super Rugby player) but just hasn't worked out

That doesn't mean Wasps shouldn't sign another foreign fly half though

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 11:09 am

BamBam wrote:No, I agree that not all NEQ players are at the level Evans was, but it's not an exact science sadly. Even those who you think should be at that level have struggled in the Prem, someone like Sopoaga was pretty much at the same level Evans was when Wasps signed him (fringe All Black, successful Super Rugby player) but just hasn't worked out

That doesn't mean Wasps shouldn't sign another foreign fly half though

I agree, it does not mean that. Wasps already have Jimmy Gopperth, I think, is he still at Wasps, who is NEQ, wouldn't you rather Billy Searle be the next one to come through, learning off Gopperth ?

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Post by BamBam on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 11:25 am

LordDowlais wrote:
BamBam wrote:No, I agree that not all NEQ players are at the level Evans was, but it's not an exact science sadly. Even those who you think should be at that level have struggled in the Prem, someone like Sopoaga was pretty much at the same level Evans was when Wasps signed him (fringe All Black, successful Super Rugby player) but just hasn't worked out

That doesn't mean Wasps shouldn't sign another foreign fly half though

I agree, it does not mean that. Wasps already have Jimmy Gopperth, I think, is he still at Wasps, who is NEQ, wouldn't you rather Billy Searle be the next one to come through, learning off Gopperth ?

Depends on the viewpoint you're looking at it from.

If I was a Wasps fan (I'm not but do have a soft spot for them), I'd want to see the best player possible at 10. If that is Searle (don't know much about him), Umaga or someone who comes in from abroad, I'm fine with that. Sopoaga has another year left on his contract, I imagine he'd be first choice through to the end of that, and Gopperth is nearly 37 so can't have long left.

From an England point of view, I'd view it as us having Farrell, Ford, Cipriani, Smith and Simmonds as options for the squad after the RWC. If Searle or Umaga was to come through as a starting option at Wasps and be a genuine contender for a place at 10 for England, that's great. If not, I'd rather see a top quality 10 in the Wasps shirt, because that player may be a real benefit to the likes of Robson at scrum half, or put the pack in the right positions so we see the very talented Willis brothers be able to progress massively in the back row

As we have so many teams, I don't think Wasps signing another EQ 10 in this example would be that much of an issue

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 11:31 am

Following a complaint I have moved a bipartite conversation to the Mods archive section for further review. 


Remember please argue the post not the poster.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 11:31 am

Why has my post about LDs lie and wumming been removed please?
Ah you just posted that as I did. I expect my posts to come back as I've discussed the post and not told anyone to bugger off!


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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 11:32 am

BamBam wrote:Depends on the viewpoint you're looking at it from.

Yes it does, massively. For my liking, as good as the two players are, Gopperth and Sopoaga, I would not be comfortable with a team having two NEQ players in the same position, but as you have said, you just want to see the best players possible, which is fine. I would rather see a class NEQ who is the overlooking a very promising EQ player, if I were in your position.

Gopperth is a very good player, I remember him from his Leinster days, he is a very good player, and even at 37, he still has a lot he can pass on.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 11:33 am

And plays 12 for wasps.

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 11:37 am

Wasps also have Tana Umaga's son in their squad as well don't they ? I cannot imagine he will end up representing England.

Is he a good flyhalf ?

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Post by BamBam on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 11:39 am

LordDowlais wrote:
BamBam wrote:Depends on the viewpoint you're looking at it from.

Yes it does, massively. For my liking, as good as the two players are, Gopperth and Sopoaga, I would not be comfortable with a team having two NEQ players in the same position, but as you have said, you just want to see the best players possible, which is fine. I would rather see a class NEQ who is the overlooking a very promising EQ player, if I were in your position.

Gopperth is a very good player, I remember him from his Leinster days, he is a very good player, and even at 37, he still has a lot he can pass on.

You won't have seen this as you've put him on ignore, but 7.5 has just pointed out that Gopperth mainly plays 12, which is very true!

Jacob Umaga is a 10/12, but apparently better at 12. Not sure where his international future lies but he'd have to go back to NZ to represent them. I don't think he's quite kicked on as much as people were hoping but he's still young


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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 11:44 am

LordDowlais wrote:Wasps also have Tana Umaga's son in their squad as well don't they ? I cannot imagine he will end up representing England.

Is he a good flyhalf ?

Tana's nephew, Mike's son. He's ok. Left Tigers for a bigger contract at Wasps and then has had little opportunity, sent on loan to Yorkshire last season. There will have to be a lot of improvement if he is to make it as a tier 1 international, might get some caps for Samoa as they don't always have depth at 10. He's now 21 so he needs to make his break soon or get out of Wasps to somewhere he can play.

Grayson, Hardwick and Smith are all younger and have more AP game time.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 11:45 am

Better name than a player. Nephew to Tana. Could still push on but much less potential than other of a similar age and younger.

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Post by Brendan on Thu 25 Jul 2019, 10:41 pm

Just to show the issues of playing in South Africa, last weekend Togan Thor was mugged while in South Africa with the Wallabies. Now He is no small man, in a really nice part of town. Why would players stay home for less money knowing that could be them or worse their partner.

There are few places in the professional rugby world where players go through that.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 27 Jul 2019, 1:18 am

I mentioned Pieter "Lappies" Labuschagne above. World Rugby approved his residential qualification for Japan in June and, in his first cap today against Fiji, he'll captain the team.

Can't be many players who have captained the national team on their first cap.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190727/p2g/00m/0sp/009000c

Labuschagne, who was born and raised in South Africa, said hearing from World Rugby he was eligible to play for Japan was "a weight off his shoulders," adding that his family was also relieved and happy to hear he would be playing in the red-and-white.

The 30-year-old flanker, however, will still have some burden to bear as captain in his first test match, allowing regular skipper Michael Leitch to concentrate on his own game following a long injury lay-off.

"Having the captaincy, it's a whole different ball game," he said, though he hopes he can be a calming influence and that he hopes "to make everyone a better version of themselves. If we work as a unit then we can achieve our goal."

Japan coach Jamie Joseph said he had had no doubt Labuschagne was the man for the job.

"It might be his first cap for Japan but he has played a lot of rugby. He is probably one of our most experienced players. The occasion was set for him, that's why he's captain," he said.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 09 Nov 2019, 8:31 pm

Juandre Kruger who is a temp signing at scarlets is heading back to Bulls (I think). So that’s another one finally going back the other way!

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 09 Nov 2019, 8:50 pm

Montpellier: 
Bismarck Du Plessis - hooker
Lizo Gqoboka - prop 
Jannie du Plessis - prop
Jacques du Plessis - lock/back-row
Paul Willemse (capped by France) - lock
Nico Janse van Rensburg - lock
Johan Goosen - fly-half 
Handré Pollard - fly-half
Jan Serfontein - centre 
François Steyn - centre 
Henry Immelman - wing

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Post by Taylorman on Sat 09 Nov 2019, 9:03 pm

Jan Serfontein? Relation?

I see at least one player is going the other way, Joe Marchant from Harequins, the NZ aligned club hooking up with the Blues. Looks handy and has big shoes to fill with backs SBW , Nonu, Caleb Clarke and Melani Nanai out, three of the four going to various northern clubs, Canada, SAN Diego and Worster, Clarke going to AB Olympic Sevens.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 09 Nov 2019, 9:17 pm

Taylorman wrote:Jan Serfontein? Relation?

??

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Post by Taylorman on Sat 09 Nov 2019, 9:27 pm

Divan was a very good halfback in the 70s, thought might be related, looks not...

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 09 Nov 2019, 9:42 pm

Probably not. There tends to be a lot of Kruger, du Plessis and Serfontein in SA; like there are a lot of Jones and Williams’ in Wales.

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Post by Taylorman on Sat 09 Nov 2019, 10:39 pm

Yes I’m aware of that. We have Nico Jones, who actually IS son of Michael Jones, so yeah was just wondering. In looking at the full springbok list they are the only two, where Wales have 75 Jones, so no, it’s not the same as ‘it’s like Wales have Jones’, which is obviously infinitely more common.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 09 Nov 2019, 10:58 pm

I was saying that they seem like popular names in SA, which they must be. I see a lot of Burgers, du Plessis, Steyn, Botha, Kruger, and a lot of ‘van’ too...

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 2:53 pm

Francois Steyn and Jannie Du Plessis heading back to SA at the end of the season, the former probably to the Cheetahs and the latter to the Lions.

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Post by Pot Hale on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 4:08 pm

South African-born in Ireland - 10 players.
2 x NIE; 2 x GPIQ; 4 RIQ; 2 x NIQ

Ulster
Marcel Coetzee - NIE. Bok capped. Moved to Japan, then Ulster. Contract until 2021. Age 28.
Rob Herring - GPIQ - moved to London Irish in 2009, and eventually Ulster in 2012. Capped 2014 - 7 caps. Age 29.
Louis Ludik - RIQ - moved to Ulster 2014. Contracted until June 2020. Age 33.
Gareth Milasinovich - GPIQ. Moved to Worcester 2015. Joined Ulster 2019. Grandfather Irish-qualified. Contracted until 2021. Age 27.

Munster
Arno Botha - NIE - Moved to London Irish 2017/18. Munster 2018/19. Due to leave in June 2020. Bok-capped. Age 28.
Jean Kleyn - RIQ - moved to Munster 2016. Qualified Aug 2019. Capped for Ireland. Age 26.
Chris Cloete - NIQ - moved to Munster 2017. Qualifies Oct 2020. Age 28.
CJ Stander - RIQ - moved to Munster 2012. Residency qualified. Capped for Ireland. Age 29.
Keynan Knox (academy) - NIQ. Joined Munster Dec 2017 after school at 18. Third year of academy and will residency qualify in Dec 2020. Contracted until 2022. Age 20.

Connacht
Quinn Roux - RIQ. Moved to Leinster on trial 2012. Then loan-moved to Connacht. Renewed. Capped in 2016 - 7 caps. Age 29.

Leinster
None

Out of those, Ludik and Botha likely to be gone by end season. Herring and Roux may not get further caps. Kleyn and Stander should continue at test level for the moment. Not sure Cloete is good enough for test level. Don't know yet about quality of Milasinovich & Knox.
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Post by rodders on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 5:11 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
Marcel Coetzee - NIE.  Bok capped. Moved to Japan, then Ulster. Contract until 2021. Age 28.

Coetzee is some player, I'm disgusted the springboks poached him on us by capping him.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 5:56 pm

Academy products apparently being targeted. This isn’t new, didn’t Jake White start it a few years back?

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/20-top-south-african-schoolboys-raided-by-overseas-clubs-as-world-rugbys-five-year-residency-rule-drives-recruitment-younger

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Post by Old Man on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 6:04 pm

It is getting a bit pathetic really, what’s next?

Standing in line at Pre-Schools?

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Post by miaow on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 6:16 pm

The only saving grace to the 5 year residency rule is that players are likely to be around 22 years old at the very youngest by the time they qualify. At that point, I hope they'd be willing and able to tell the host country to go f themselves and declare for S Africa again.

Wales has had to put up this for a good while from English clubs. It now appears to be international. Sad times.

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Post by Taylorman on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 6:22 pm

Don’t worry, as we’ve clearly just seen... we’ll fill the gaps thumbsup

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 6:30 pm

miaow wrote:The only saving grace to the 5 year residency rule is that players are likely to be around 22 years old at the very youngest by the time they qualify. At that point, I hope they'd be willing and able  to tell the host country to go f themselves and declare for S Africa again.

Wales has had to put up this for a good while from English clubs. It now appears to be international. Sad times.

As opposed to the WRU researching the lineage of England under 20 internationals looking for Welsh grandparents?

This is the article cited in the article posted above.

https://m.sport24.co.za/Rugby/22-schools-rugby-stars-set-to-leave-sa-shores-20191114

Seems mainly Montpellier and Pau who are doing the recruiting.

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Post by Old Man on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 6:50 pm

I just don’t get a country like France must have thousands upon thousands of school kids playing rugby, WTF are their scouts doing in SA?

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Post by miaow on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 7:03 pm

Taylorman wrote:Don’t worry, as we’ve clearly just seen... we’ll fill the gaps thumbsup

What, a merry band of keyboard warriors who work in IT? Not sure Leinster are in need, tbh...

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Post by miaow on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 7:06 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
miaow wrote:The only saving grace to the 5 year residency rule is that players are likely to be around 22 years old at the very youngest by the time they qualify. At that point, I hope they'd be willing and able  to tell the host country to go f themselves and declare for S Africa again.

Wales has had to put up this for a good while from English clubs. It now appears to be international. Sad times.

As opposed to the WRU researching the lineage of England under 20 internationals looking for Welsh grandparents?

This is the article cited in the article posted above.

https://m.sport24.co.za/Rugby/22-schools-rugby-stars-set-to-leave-sa-shores-20191114

Seems mainly Montpellier and Pau who are doing the recruiting.

Do let us know when the WRU start doing that! The Exiles programme does nothing of the sort, so will be interesting to see when this happens!

Either way, got at least a few solid decades for Wales to catch up when they do - looking forward to when Millfield School send someone with Gareth Edwards' abilities to Pontardawe!

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 7:29 pm

Richer clubs will sign more players and this inevitably have more chance to have players qualify through residency. Poorer clubs and leagues have fewer chances. Wales identified ben morgan and sam underhill as potential players from England when they were in wales but they loved back when it became obvious they were good. Play to the rules.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 7:44 pm

miaow wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
miaow wrote:The only saving grace to the 5 year residency rule is that players are likely to be around 22 years old at the very youngest by the time they qualify. At that point, I hope they'd be willing and able  to tell the host country to go f themselves and declare for S Africa again.

Wales has had to put up this for a good while from English clubs. It now appears to be international. Sad times.

As opposed to the WRU researching the lineage of England under 20 internationals looking for Welsh grandparents?

This is the article cited in the article posted above.

https://m.sport24.co.za/Rugby/22-schools-rugby-stars-set-to-leave-sa-shores-20191114

Seems mainly Montpellier and Pau who are doing the recruiting.

Do let us know when the WRU start doing that! The Exiles programme does nothing of the sort, so will be interesting to see when this happens!

Either way, got at least a few solid decades for Wales to catch up when they do - looking forward to when Millfield School send someone with Gareth Edwards' abilities to Pontardawe!

Jonah Holmes played and lived in England his entire life picked for Wales on the basis of grandparents.

Tom Price, England under 20s lock moved on to the Scarlets after the WRU found he was Welsh qualified. They just found later he wasn't that good.

Johnny Williams played for England under 20s and won JWC. Qualifies for Wales and approached to join a Welsh region before he joined Falcons.

Tomas Francis didn't play for England age grade but came through the English university and league system has no link to Wales other than a grandmother.

Bit rich to point the finger at English clubs when the Welsh international side is always scanning who's available. Everyone is trying to get the best players available, it's basically an arms race and as the game becomes increasingly professional it won't become less of an issue.

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Post by miaow on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 10:07 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
miaow wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
miaow wrote:The only saving grace to the 5 year residency rule is that players are likely to be around 22 years old at the very youngest by the time they qualify. At that point, I hope they'd be willing and able  to tell the host country to go f themselves and declare for S Africa again.

Wales has had to put up this for a good while from English clubs. It now appears to be international. Sad times.

As opposed to the WRU researching the lineage of England under 20 internationals looking for Welsh grandparents?

This is the article cited in the article posted above.

https://m.sport24.co.za/Rugby/22-schools-rugby-stars-set-to-leave-sa-shores-20191114

Seems mainly Montpellier and Pau who are doing the recruiting.

Do let us know when the WRU start doing that! The Exiles programme does nothing of the sort, so will be interesting to see when this happens!

Either way, got at least a few solid decades for Wales to catch up when they do - looking forward to when Millfield School send someone with Gareth Edwards' abilities to Pontardawe!

Jonah Holmes played and lived in England his entire life picked for Wales on the basis of grandparents.

Tom Price, England under 20s lock moved on to the Scarlets after the WRU found he was Welsh qualified. They just found later he wasn't that good.

Johnny Williams played for England under 20s and won JWC. Qualifies for Wales and approached to join a Welsh region before he joined Falcons.

Tomas Francis didn't play for England age grade but came through the English university and league system has no link to Wales other than a grandmother.

Bit rich to point the finger at English clubs when the Welsh international side is always scanning who's available. Everyone is trying to get the best players available, it's basically an arms race and as the game becomes increasingly professional it won't become less of an issue.

So none of them academy players, none of them u20s. Ok...?

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Post by Pot Hale on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 11:22 pm

From Ultimate Rugby report on SA schoolboys:

“Seven players from South Africa's top-ranked schoolboy side, Grey College in Bloemfontein, are set to leave South African shores after school with the majority of the players heading to France, but some will also head for Australia, Japan, England and Ireland.

It is likely that this list will grow longer as one of Rassie Erasmus' objectives are as Springbok director of Rugby is to decrease the number of contracted players in the South African franchises. ”

Interesting comment.
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Post by Brendan on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 11:54 pm

Pot Hale wrote:From Ultimate Rugby report on SA schoolboys:

“Seven players from South Africa's top-ranked schoolboy side, Grey College in Bloemfontein, are set to leave South African shores after school with the majority of the players heading to France, but some will also head for Australia, Japan, England and Ireland.

It is likely that this list will grow longer as one of Rassie Erasmus' objectives are as Springbok director of Rugby is to decrease the number of contracted players in the South African franchises. ”

Interesting comment.  

We need to remember that South Africa are halfing their number of professional players. Some of the younger players may see that it will be harder to get into teams.

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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 12:44 am

Brendan wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:From Ultimate Rugby report on SA schoolboys:

“Seven players from South Africa's top-ranked schoolboy side, Grey College in Bloemfontein, are set to leave South African shores after school with the majority of the players heading to France, but some will also head for Australia, Japan, England and Ireland.

It is likely that this list will grow longer as one of Rassie Erasmus' objectives are as Springbok director of Rugby is to decrease the number of contracted players in the South African franchises. ”

Interesting comment.  

We need to remember that South Africa are halfing their number of professional players.  Some of the younger players may see that it will be harder to get into teams.

And actively filtering the pipeline so that players are effective encouraged to move abroad.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 22 Nov 2019, 12:17 pm

Why did SA half their number of pro contracts, budget cuts?

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