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Scottish Rugby adopts 'project signings' strategy

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Scottish Rugby adopts 'project signings' strategy Empty Scottish Rugby adopts 'project signings' strategy

Post by Rava Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:10 pm

As reported on the BBC Website Scottish Rugby are to embark on a on a policy of 'project signings' to bolster the national team's selection options with foreign talent.

At a time when Irish Rugby seems to be heading away from the foreign nationals and project players is this a good move for Scotland?
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Post by Notch Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:15 pm

It's a good move, if it's instead of having a capped foreign player as opposed to as well. The difficulty will be in enticing really good prospects who haven't been capped. Thats where our use of 'project players' has been a bit of a waste of time.

Maybe only one current top class uncapped NIQ in Ireland right now, Jared Payne. Hard to see what Strauss, Borlase or Diack would add except depth. None have graduated to the national team.
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Post by 123456789 Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:15 pm

I think it's good as long as there's a limit; if we ended up with more foreign born players than Scots-born players then we'd risk losing identity and the passion of our players. It also sends a bad signal to our young players, if we put foreign players ahead of homegrown ones then less young Scots will want to start therefore it won't be a long-term strategy. I think one ore two "projects" are acceptable as well as the likes of Denton, Hamilton and Evans.

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Post by profitius Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:56 pm

I think the IRB needs to step in and change the rules to 7 years residency.

The Scots would be better off not doing it. The IRFU are seeing the light and for all the time its been operating in Ireland there has only been one or two caps awarded to fringe players.

The top players get capped by their native country anyway. The other non capped players would be lower quality so unlikely to benefit Scotland.
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Post by Rava Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:57 pm

The thing is aren't Denton, Hamilton etc already Project players? The stunting of home grown talent is at the forefront here and is the same in Ireland.
Is success so important that we lose our National identity?
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Post by Majestic83 Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:33 am

At the moment there aren't actually that many of the Scotland national team born outside of Scotland, if you look at the starting xv to play Australia on Tuesday the only player born outside of Scotland is John Barclay who was born in Hong Kong.
Others that would be put into that bracket normally would be Hamilton who has a Scottish Dad, Denton who has a Scottish Mum, maybe Max Evans who's Dad or grandfather is scottish and then obviously Tim Visser.

I don't think the SRU are really recruiting "project" players but looking for players who are already qualified to play for Scotland through birth, or parentage/grandparentage but living and playing abroad.

Off the signings the pro teams have made the only players who would fall into the project player status are WP Nel, and Izak Van Der Westhuizen and i don't think that has been the prime reason they have been brought over.

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Post by Seagultaf Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:54 am

Scotland need to do something as with only 2 teams, playing resources are allways going to me light. Probably a better strategy that trying to poach players already tied to other countries!

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Post by fa0019 Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:42 am

Well Australia already do this...

The force has just signed Sias Ebersohn of the Cheetahs... a 23 yr old flyhalf/centre. He has played U20s boks but given SA have an emerging boks side (who play once every 4 years) he is still available to play for other countries via residency.

The contract he signed was a foreign development one... signed off by the ARU where he must immediately pledges his loyalty to AUS & once residency rules are secured he can play for them.

Probably he most cynical tapping up of a player in modern times.

This is only a ST answer though for any team.

In the LT we need to develop players of our own.. this is the only way our union will be sustainable... spending money we don't have on foreign players will only empty the coffers even more.

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Post by donkeyprop Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:50 am

It's difficult to build a squad of international class players with an adult playing base of around 15000. If this scheme is intended to provide players for the problem positions (like tighthead) while the domestic player base and coaching system is being expanded to improve the number and quality of players available then this is fair enough. Every other country in world rugby seems to make use of residency rules so why shouldn't Scotland. However, I haven't seen much sign of the SRU making serious efforts to expand the domestic game in this way and I'm not happy with the prospect of this scheme being seen as a long term alternative to domestic development.

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Post by blackcanelion Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:48 pm

fa0019 you are right about Australia doing this. They realised they cannot yet generate enough talent to support 5 super 15 teams. Their solution is to bring in outside players and tie them into the national team. Ebersohn is just the latest in a line of players. I'd put 2 players in the current starting lineup in the same category.

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Post by Biltong Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:04 pm

Well looking at the number of Freestaters moving to Edinburgh soon, you may have to start teaching Afrikaans at your schools.
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Post by justified sinner Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:17 pm

Probably more use than teaching Gaelic.

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Post by Cryptoyourisan Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:23 pm

I think it's an awful idea. There's nothing wrong with having a few good non-Scottish-qualified players at Edinburgh and Glasgow, e.g. DTH, Stortoni and Talei, but actively seeking to recruit players for Edinburgh and Glasgow on the assumption that they will be willing to hang around and become qualified for Scotland just seems horrible to me. Just for once, it would be nice to see the SRU come up with a long-term plan to make Scottish rugby half-decent but this seems like yet another short-term plan that will probably backfire spectacularly.

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Post by Cryptoyourisan Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:24 pm

justified sinner wrote:Probably more use than teaching Gaelic.

Or having BBC ALBA.

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Post by Notch Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:35 pm

profitius wrote:The Scots would be better off not doing it. The IRFU are seeing the light and for all the time its been operating in Ireland there has only been one or two caps awarded to fringe players.

Wrong, last player to play for Ireland on residency grounds was Ulster stalwart Andy Ward (who still lives here long after retirement).

None of the much trumpeted 'Project Players' have ever represented Ireland.
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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:14 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/18307303

Scottish Rugby is embarking on a policy of 'project signings' to bolster the national team's selection options with foreign talent.
Eligibility rules permit players who have been resident in a country for three years to play international rugby for that country.
South African WP Nel has been signed by Edinburgh for this purpose.
"For Scotland to compete in years to come, we have to do this," Edinburgh chairman Jim Calder told Sport Nation.


"WP Nel is viewed as being a project signing. He, in three years time, will qualify for Scotland under the eligibility rules.
...... I do see each team, Edinburgh and Glasgow, having maybe two or three of them.


No mention that these guys even have to have "always known about Scotland" . Mind it would probably be harder to get them to sign up if they did,


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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:23 pm

Apologies didnt see there was already an article on this

Theres a big difference between someone moving to a country and becoming qualified and unions actively seeking out and funding moves of project players on the understanding its with a view to turning traitor.
Mind Im not sure which worse, at least these guys are making an active choice to commit to scotland long term, rather than just being rang up one day and told they have yualified so why not pop down to training

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Post by Biltong Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:28 pm

No worries PSW
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Post by 123456789 Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:30 pm

I don't like the idea of "project signings"; it sends all the wrong messages to both foreign players and our own. Also if we want to realistically compete with the best long term we can't keep taking the players that aren't good enough for them. If a player comes from South Africa for example with a view of playing for Edinburgh or Glasgow, plays really hard for three years and shows that he has a strong allegiance to the country by all means play by the rules and select him for the country but to sign players who have no connection with the Scotland years in advance seems wrong to me. In my opinion the qualification should be that if you moved to the country before 18 it should be five years,if after it should be seven. If you have a grandparent from that country you must live there for at least three years and if you have a parent you must be resident in that country for at least a year.


Last edited by 123456789 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:56 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Biltong Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:31 pm

agree.
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Post by alive555 Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:47 pm

Totally disagree

"if you have a parent you must be resident in that country for at least a year"

why ? What has where u live got to do with your nationality

Absolutely nothing is the answer.





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Post by 123456789 Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:15 pm

alive555 wrote: What has where u live got to do with your nationality

Absolutely nothing is the answer.





I think they should be trying their best to stamp out mercenaries who just come to play for international rugby without allegiance and therefore they should tighten up the rules.

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Post by Biltong Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:22 pm

So a guy who has a South Afrcan parent/parents, South African Grandparents and for argument Britsh parent or grandparent should be able to play for the british nation even though he grew up in SA and learnt his trade through our system?
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Post by Majestic83 Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:24 pm

biltongbek wrote:So a guy who has a South Afrcan parent/parents, South African Grandparents and for argument Britsh parent or grandparent should be able to play for the british nation even though he grew up in SA and learnt his trade through our system?

Yeah he should be allowed to, you can feel just as patriotic towards a nation even though you aren't born there and the closest link might be your parents or grand parents.

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Post by IanBru Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:25 pm

biltongbek wrote:So a guy who has a South Afrcan parent/parents, South African Grandparents and for argument Britsh parent or grandparent should be able to play for the british nation even though he grew up in SA and learnt his trade through our system?

In a word, yes.
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Post by Biltong Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:26 pm

So you are saying milk the colonies to the last drop. Wink
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Post by 123456789 Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:31 pm

I think that you can feel patriotic for a nation without being born there, both my parents are Scottish but I was born in England, I feel a much stronger allegiance to Scotland than England but if it's a singular parent i.e Steven Shingler then I think he should have to prove that he's doing it for a decent reason rather than an easy way to international rugby. Signing for a Scottish team for a year might go some way to achieve this. Another example is Thomas Waldrom his Grandmother was born in England but moved to New Zealand early on in her life, in fact he'd very little idea she was born in England yet he could play for England.
Another way to do it would be through a points system. You need one hundred points to represent the country.
Birth= 100
Parent=50
Grandparent=15
A years residency= 15


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Post by IanBru Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:43 pm

biltongbek wrote:So you are saying milk the colonies to the last drop. Wink

Ha ha, not quite! Wink

Your example involved a player with a British parent deciding to play for one of the Home Nations, despite having been raised in South Africa - does anyone really have a problem with that? Because of the globalisation of culture, the way that a person is raised has less to do with where they happen to live, and more to do with the cultural values instilled in them by their parents.

In this debate (which is getting dangerously close to the Shingler debate we all enjoyed so much...), we can only draw on our own experience. I was born and raised in England to Scottish parents. I played all my rugby in England, but I would never, once, have considered playing for England. This has nothing to do with a dislike for where I was brought up, simply that I never felt English.

I'm not saying that rugby unions poaching players, or players farming themselves out to various nations, is right or wrong. Simply that a player's desire to play for one country over another has a lot to do with experiences and feelings that are entirely subjective Seeking to legislate through the blunt instrument of regulations might provide clarity, but it could also prevent players from representing the country they have chosen.

If Tim Visser (to use one very tired example) wants to represent Scotland, who are we or the IRB to say that he's wrong?

Perhaps it's the Conservative in me, but I'd argue that less regulation is always preferable to more!
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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:23 am

The rules certainly need changing, but I don't blame the SRU for adopting this approach. Other teams do it and frankly we can't afford to be missing tricks.

I don't like it, but whilst the rules still provide for it, I completely understand it, and if we are going to do it, let's do it well and target the right players.

As 123456789 says above, a key point is not disincentivising our young players in Scotland. We don't want to send the message that you can work hard to be the best in your position for your country only for a mercenary to be parachuted in. Obviously we're nowhere near that yet, but we have to be mindful of the balance.

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Post by profitius Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:29 am

Notch wrote:
profitius wrote:The Scots would be better off not doing it. The IRFU are seeing the light and for all the time its been operating in Ireland there has only been one or two caps awarded to fringe players.

Wrong, last player to play for Ireland on residency grounds was Ulster stalwart Andy Ward (who still lives here long after retirement).

None of the much trumpeted 'Project Players' have ever represented Ireland.

I wasn't sure about Brett Wilkinson. It looks like he'll get capped soon. Strauss is another.
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Post by geoff998rugby Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:54 am

123456789 wrote:I think that you can feel patriotic for a nation without being born there, both my parents are Scottish but I was born in England, I feel a much stronger allegiance to Scotland than England but if it's a singular parent i.e Steven Shingler then I think he should have to prove that he's doing it for a decent reason rather than an easy way to international rugby. Signing for a Scottish team for a year might go some way to achieve this. Another example is Thomas Waldrom his Grandmother was born in England but moved to New Zealand early on in her life, in fact he'd very little idea she was born in England yet he could play for England.
Another way to do it would be through a points system. You need one hundred points to represent the country.
Birth= 100
Parent=50
Grandparent=15
A years residency= 15


I like it I like it a lot - an excellent idea.
I might argue with the numbers but in principal it gets the thumbs up from me.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:58 am

I dont really see it as different to when the RFU funded league internationals to switch codes. Which bought England the talents of Paul, Vanikolo and Farrell snr. Hopefully Scotland will invest more wisely!

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Post by Feckless Rogue Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:21 pm

I don't believe the SRU can be criticized for this policy because the rules are the rules and they're abiding by them. But I do think the residency rules are wrong.
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