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Players Eligible for Scotland

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Post by Highland Shaun Sat 01 Aug 2020, 11:01 pm

First topic message reminder :

Hi guys, I asked this on Rugby Rebels but didn't get much response lol so I'm thinking I'll have more luck here Smile.

As it says in the title, who is eligible for Scotland through residency rules or the grandparents rule etc?

The only ones I know of so far are:

Duhan van der Merwe (likely to make his debut in October)
Olly Kebble
Jaco Van der Walt
Ben Vellacott
Sean Stevenson
Will Jordan (though highly unlikely)

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Post by BigGee Mon 10 Aug 2020, 9:29 am

He is actually only 18, so does have time on his side!

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Post by NeilyBroon Mon 10 Aug 2020, 9:49 am

BigGee wrote:He is actually only 18, so does have time on his side!

Aye but there are some things that can't really be taught. You can teach tackling technique but willingness to put your body on the line is something that you tend to figure out quite a lot younger starting out contact rugby at 12/13 years old. You tend to see tackle shyness more frequently with the backs who get into rugby later more often.

We shall see though, not judging until he plays in Scotland for the first time whether that be at Uni or Super Six.
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Post by tigertattie Mon 10 Aug 2020, 10:58 am

Are really that devoid of talent that we're looking at a lump who has played rugby for only 12 months?

I used to play in the 2nd XV with a laddie who was about 6ft 7. He was useless. Could barely run, couldnt jump in the lineout. At least I was good at lifting in the lineout and could call the the thing. He just stood there like a giant tree taking up space!

You'd not take a 5ft tall, 8 stone 18 year old and say, ahhhh, you're small, and whack em on a horse in the national after just a year!
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Post by Hazel Sapling Mon 10 Aug 2020, 11:39 am

Not that devoid, especially of second rows. A 6'8 lock who can jump at the lineout, weighs in at the top end of international rugby and is playing a good level of SA schoolboy rugby at 18 after 18 months of rugby though is someone who could be interesting. May only get to play Super Six and that is the reason we have that level to see if he can go into a semi-pro environment and kick on

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Post by alive555 Mon 10 Aug 2020, 12:20 pm

https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/53720537

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Post by NeilyBroon Mon 10 Aug 2020, 2:14 pm

tigertattie wrote:Are really that devoid of talent that we're looking at a lump who has played rugby for only 12 months?

I used to play in the 2nd XV with a laddie who was about 6ft 7. He was useless. Could barely run, couldnt jump in the lineout. At least I was good at lifting in the lineout and could call the the thing. He just stood there like a giant tree taking up space!

You'd not take a 5ft tall, 8 stone 18 year old and say, ahhhh, you're small, and whack em on a horse in the national after just a year!  

I think we're all just interested in seeing how he'll get on because he's come by an unusual route. He seems like a nice genuine lad and has the right attitude. Some small players, Darcy Graham, Shane Williams, Vincent Clerc, Kolbe get on just fine... in fact more than fine, they are exceptional, equally there are absolute Giraffes like the Gray brothers, Hines, Etzebeth etc who are all excellent and have a good bulk to work with (arguably the Grays are guilty of not using theirs to the maximum potential, younger moreso than elder) and some like Hamish Watson who are just machines and punch well above their weight.

In short, we're not saying just because he's a giant he will be the next Scott Murray or Hines. If he turns out to be a good club player who doesn't quite make international, that's fine too! He's got his head screwed on and is getting a qualification so he can pursue a profession should it not work out and it seems his parents do a good job at keeping him grounded.

It's not like he's going to push Gilchrist out of the starting lineup in September or even by 2023. He's mainly there for the experience, and maybe will end up in the academies/U20s as part of his learning of the game. Or he may turn out to be all size and no skill but I like to think the scouts are pretty clued up when it comes to talent spotting.
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Post by LondonTiger Mon 10 Aug 2020, 4:41 pm

alive555 wrote:https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/53720537

the rationale for changing this seems non-sensical to me. Just because a team has not played does not mean that someone has not gained eligibility.

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Post by NeilyBroon Mon 10 Aug 2020, 4:42 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
alive555 wrote:https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/53720537

the rationale for changing this seems non-sensical to me. Just because a team has not played does not mean that someone has not gained eligibility.

I must admit I double-took when I read that. It seems some vested interests are perhaps at play.
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Post by bsando Mon 10 Aug 2020, 5:27 pm

That’s fantastic for Scotland! Very excited about that.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 10 Aug 2020, 9:24 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
alive555 wrote:https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/53720537

the rationale for changing this seems non-sensical to me. Just because a team has not played does not mean that someone has not gained eligibility.

I must admit I double-took when I read that. It seems some vested interests are perhaps at play.

Haven't read it, but assume it's something to do with World Rugby delaying the residency law that was set to come in.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 10 Aug 2020, 9:26 pm

Highland Shaun wrote:https://www.rugbypass.com/news/oguntibeju-the-68-120kg-scottish-qualified-nigerian-born-lock-whos-playing-in-sa-but-could-be-about-to-sign-for-edinburgh/

There is this guy Olujare Oguntibeju who is now eligible, must say I've not heard of him but Edinburgh fans are raving about him :O.

I wouldn't expect miracles, but certainly the type of beast you'd want around your A team to see if he can make the step up. I have to say, most of the Nigerians I come across are amazing athletes!

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Post by RDW Mon 10 Aug 2020, 11:23 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
alive555 wrote:https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/53720537

the rationale for changing this seems non-sensical to me. Just because a team has not played does not mean that someone has not gained eligibility.

I must admit I double-took when I read that. It seems some vested interests are perhaps at play.

I think it's saying you don't have to play for the country to be tied to them - you just have to 'represent' or 'meet with'. If you don't do that by the deadline you have to wait another two years. This is to cover nations that will be going a long time without playing - mainly the developing nations. Basically, to be able to qualify within 3 years instead of the previous 5 years you have to actually represent that nation in some way, but it doesn't have to be a game.

I think.... Headscratch

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Post by tigertattie Tue 11 Aug 2020, 1:17 pm

The reason for the change is at best, unclear, at worst, nefarious!

World rugby do some properly odd stuff from time to time.

If the rule was "you had to play 50 club games in the country to be eligible for international honours" I could get changing something as not penalise people who cant make that number due to covid, but the rule is about living in the country for a set amount of time. Players are, as far as I am aware, still living in places during this crisis so I'm stuffed if I can figure out why this rule change has come about.

I'll put money on it that someone somewhere has brought in a human rights lawyer to argue that they were unfairly treated as they missed the cut off so World Rugby have move the goal posts and tried to use Coivd to hide behind!
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Post by LordDowlais Tue 11 Aug 2020, 4:22 pm

Old Man wrote:I think a few are getting a bit defensive here, I merely wanted to know whether supporters have a problem with overseas born players representing their country.

I do not have a problem, but I am very uncomfortable about it. You all know my views on this subject. OK

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Post by funnyExiledScot Wed 12 Aug 2020, 5:36 pm

Listen, if it means that Schoe qualifies sooner then it's an excellent decision!!

Who needs principles.....

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 12 Aug 2020, 6:55 pm

I think a lot of people are uncomfortable with it, but also don’t mind if it helps their team... SA and the PI’s are probably the most opposed to it, and rightfully so.

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Post by RDW Wed 12 Aug 2020, 11:47 pm

The concept of national identity these days is very different to what it was say 10, 20 years ago. Without turning this into a UKIP discussion (please don't), Britain is a multicultural melting pot of all kinds of cultures and nationalities.

For me, letting someone qualify to play for the national team having spent their lives in that country for 3-5 years (which is a long time) is much preferable to the converse, i.e. only letting 'purebloods' play for the team.

Take WP Nel for example who has lived here for 8 years and all of his children were born here and probably class themselves as Scottish and will have Scottish accents. If the system allows players like him play for the country he now calls home I have no issues at all. For me that is no less of an issue than a random Kiwi who has never set foot in Scotland and is parachuted straight in because his grandad was born here.

Of course there are many shades of gray to this and there's probably plenty examples to say why it isn't a good idea. I think most people agree with the concept, but big debating point is how long the residency should be. I think 3 years is enough personally - that is a long time in professional rugby, and I'm sure anyone who has lived in a country for that length of time very much calls it home.

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Post by Highland Shaun Wed 12 Aug 2020, 11:55 pm

The only thing I am happy with regarding the rule (overall and the change) is that it benefits us regarding DVDM and Schoeman (the 2 I'm really excited about, praying that one makes his debut in a couple of months).

I'm really not as bothered about Kebble or JVDW but would support /back them if they got picked when eligible Smile.

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 13 Aug 2020, 8:19 am

I don't have a problem with it but there definitely is some cynacism when it comes to overseas recruiting. Like RDW said it's fair that SAs feel aggrieved by the depletion of their top players. Pacific Islands, well I think Fiji do okay from players overseas, they need it. Samoa maybe could have some grievances but the flip side of that is the Samoan RU is as bent as they come so it's no wonder that players would choose other countries to represent, especially with the amount of talent they have. Same with Tonga. A lot of it comes down to geopolitical issues beyond the players control. When SA were talking player quotas, that's when the exodus there seemed to really kick off. I think the redressing the balance did not sit well, and many players felt their best opportunity was to play abroad to get more club rugby.

Obviously money is also a big factor, with every European club now running a debt just to pay their top players obscene wages it's no surprise it's turned heads across the Southern hemisphere. A good SH player can pretty much name their price. Simon Hickey, who has never played for the senior All Blacks, was one of the highest paid players in Edinburgh and before that was paid pretty big money at Bordeux. Was he worth the money? Hard to say. Decent player but not exactly special. But put (NZ) after someone's name and it racks up their cost. Only recently Jason O'Halloran was talking about how overpriced it is bringing in anyone from Super Rugby.

If South Africa rugby join the northern hemisphere competitions I can potentially see their clubs fortunes changing, as I imagine the talent will then become a lot more bilateral, players value Southern Hemisphere experience. For instance, Finlay Christie could get an ABs call up. He chose to stay in NZ over returning to Scotland because the standard there is higher. He could still return and play for Scotland but would I blame him for choosing NZ? Absolutely not.

The travel is still an issue, as SA is still pretty expensive to fly to, you can get cheaper flights to Singapore which is further away. However I think a lot of fans would like the idea of making a trip of it, especially if you tap into the wealthier English market.

In summary, I think players have the right to choose who they represent should they settle there. The 5 year rule will only contribute to the problem as players will just be picked up younger when they have less idea about what they want.


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Post by RDW Thu 13 Aug 2020, 8:25 am

I don't think world champions South Africa can expect too much sympathy just now! And a lot of the top players move for money reasons - the club salaries in SA aren't good. There's also huuuuuuge competition in SA - their playing numbers are staggering, as is the production line of young talent coming out of the schools basically ready for pro rugby and not getting picked up in SA. And let's face it, most of the exports that have qualified on residency in the 6N teams were probably nowhere near the Springbok squad when they moved (CJ Stander a prime example). They might have got the odd cap if they had stayed but historically it's not like SA's top talent has been poached (like in a pacific island team for example).

From a Scotland perspective Nel might have eventually got capped by SA but he was in a hugely competition playing pool when he moved. Schoeman has enough quality to play for the Bocks IMO but again he probably saw the competition he was up against and was well down the pecking order at the time (although the Saffer rugby press weren't happy he left). Kebble and VDM I suspect weren't even close - VDM was a complete unknown before he came to Edinburgh and made his name there really.

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 13 Aug 2020, 8:36 am

RDW wrote:I don't think world champions South Africa can expect too much sympathy just now! And a lot of the top players move for money reasons - the club salaries in SA aren't good. There's also huuuuuuge competition in SA - their playing numbers are staggering, as is the production line of young talent coming out of the schools basically ready for pro rugby and not getting picked up in SA. And let's face it, most of the exports that have qualified on residency in the 6N teams were probably nowhere near the Springbok squad (CJ Stander a prime example). They might have got the odd cap if they had stayed but historically it's not like SA's top talent has been poached (like in a pacific island team for example).

I was talking purely in terms of club rugby. I mean we get it a bit in Scotland because we only have two clubs so of course people will leave but we have the finances to keep a few big players, at least until their value has peaked in the French market. It would be incredibly frustrating if we had players like George Horne or Jamie Dobie poached to go to the SH (for whatever reasons) and therefore limiting their international appearances or going to try out for another team (not that that would ever happen). Then imagine if that kept happening for all our promising players across the clubs. Smith, Boyle, Chamberlain, etc etc. We'd be left with some established internationals (if we're lucky), some imports, and some average young players. Glasgow fans were having a hard enough time with the young talent being moved across to Edinburgh!  

National team, yeah absolutely no sympathy there. Offer them the opportunity if you want them badly (as I said earlier!). I do think players like DVDM would get a cap and potentially have a career with SA. VDW and co. probably not.
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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 13 Aug 2020, 10:06 am

RDW wrote:The concept of national identity these days is very different to what it was say 10, 20 years ago. Without turning this into a UKIP discussion (please don't), Britain is a multicultural melting pot of all kinds of cultures and nationalities.

For me, letting someone qualify to play for the national team having spent their lives in that country for 3-5 years (which is a long time) is much preferable to the converse, i.e. only letting 'purebloods' play for the team.

Take WP Nel for example who has lived here for 8 years and all of his children were born here and probably class themselves as Scottish and will have Scottish accents. If the system allows players like him play for the country he now calls home I have no issues at all. For me that is no less of an issue than a random Kiwi who has never set foot in Scotland and is parachuted straight in because his grandad was born here.

Of course there are many shades of gray to this and there's probably plenty examples to say why it isn't a good idea. I think most people agree with the concept, but big debating point is how long the residency should be. I think 3 years is enough personally - that is a long time in professional rugby, and I'm sure anyone who has lived in a country for that length of time very much calls it home.

I agree with you.

As I said the parent and granny rule (or whatever you want to call it) is always going to divide opinion. We've pretty much poached Francis, Thompkins and Rowlands from England down to that rule. It doesn't sit right with everyone but it benefits my team so I'm enjoying it. If at least two of them feel a bit Welsh due to strong relationships with their 'Welsh' family then so be it (in their own words not mine).

The qualification rule I'm also inclined to agree with you on. I think meeting in the middle is a good idea, 4 years maybe? I think it's best to look at some examples here. Parkes came over and played across the Scarlets backline, eventually settling on 12 with JD2 outside him and it was a dream. Parkes improved as a player with Scarlets and stepped up to international level. Parkes gave 100% for the jersey even when he did start to wane (due to his age I think). I'll always respect him as a player and he seems like a great character. He had a perfect Wales debut which doesn't seem like so long ago. Nel seems like another good example.
Nathan Hughes seemed to come out of nowhere and declare his allegiance England before setting foot in the country... He seems a bit of a mercenary with no loyalty to anyone. Nobody would say no to that sort of player I guess.
The PI's gain and lose from it - NZ and Aus develop most of their players, and then (the PI's) run the risk of losing out on them to said superpowers. A lot of Samoans are born in Auckland and have the option to represent both, the best ones will get nabbed by the ABs. A lot of Tongans were born on Australia's West coast and now represent Aus, bloody good players and quite Australian too I guess. So it seems a bit of a two-way street here.
France... I think they are the ones to cause the most issues. Jake White set up a Montpellier academy in SA (or something) to nick players. I imagine it's mostly French scouts at Craven Week, I think I read something along those lines here before, but a Saffa will need to help confirm. With the new restrictions by FFR and WR they just target youth players and get them into the French system. It is smart and I know a lot of others do it, but it seems the intention here is to have them become eligible for France. I think France could become a bit of a Barbarians team over the next decade. If France are going to exploit it then it doesn't sit quite right with me - perhaps more of a WR issue than a french issue though.


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Post by RDW Thu 13 Aug 2020, 10:11 am

Yeah Mikey, Parkes is another good example. Was nowhere near being an international player, moved to Wales and made his life there and eventually worked his way up to international level where he flourished. Really can't see anything wrong with that and I'd hate it if these kind of opportunities stopped.

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Post by Old Man Thu 13 Aug 2020, 10:17 am

Latest article on Schoolboys being poached.

This part I have a problem with, targeting our schoolboys is poaching in its purest form.

Seven boys from Grey College in Bloemfontein, just a confirmation of how the Cheetahs will always struggle.


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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 13 Aug 2020, 10:28 am

RDW wrote:Yeah Mikey, Parkes is another good example. Was nowhere near being an international player, moved to Wales and made his life there and eventually worked his way up to international level where he flourished. Really can't see anything wrong with that and I'd hate it if these kind of opportunities stopped.

Agreed but I think 5 years will just make it more of a cynical exercise by the clubs and unions, as Old Man said you can see it in their schools and academies. In Scotland we do it a lot with English schools, HOWEVER, we are part of the same island and country (technically speaking), so I feel that is different to say, a Montpellier academy in SA or us getting a visa for a lad of just 18 telling him he'll have a potential opportunity to play international rugby for Scotland and a pro contract, while we don't even give half of our U20 academy players full time pro contracts, like Ollie Smith etc.

Nel, Schoe, VDM got their second shot in Scotland. Venter is just starting out. Don't get me wrong I'm happy for the kid but it feels very cynical and slightly uncomfortable given the reluctance to give current academy players contracts. If he was from Fiji or a country that doesn't have much in the way of club rugby then I'd feel a lot more comfortable with the idea as it would realistically be their only opportunity to develop at a pro club.

I'm not against people coming to play for a club abroad and a potential chance to play for that country but I absolutely see old man's point that it impacts their clubs. Not so much the national side.
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Post by tigertattie Fri 14 Aug 2020, 11:39 am

Where do you draw the line though?

There's "poaching" and then there's giving youngsters an oppertunity

Is it right to lock up the rights to players moving to other clubs that offer them better money? I know you get a game where money talks, but thats going to happen in professional sport I'm afraid. Why should a 19 year old laddie have to settle on 20k a year in SA when he can get 3ok a year in the UK or France?

If world rugby take a stand and ban "poaching" then you just run the risk of the american football teams (with even more money) rocking up and taking the best talent not jsut away from the country, but the sport!
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Post by Old Man Fri 14 Aug 2020, 11:55 am

There is no line to be drawn, it is how it is, but when one school, the best rugby school in South Africa, traditionally the feeder for the Cheetahs lose seven players in one year to overseas clubs it just doesn’t sit well, does it?

The Cheetahs gets criticised because they are less competitive than their first season in the Pro14, how do they compete when financially they don’t have the revenue?

They aren’t just losing senior players anymore, their rugby nursery is now being raped and pillaged.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 14 Aug 2020, 3:22 pm

Look on the positives they may be getting a better leg up in life.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 14 Aug 2020, 8:53 pm

I was right then, France are the worst culprits. No surprise to see Montepellier and Toulon in there as the worst. I think WR need to reel them in a bit.

Old Man wrote:There is no line to be drawn, it is how it is, but when one school, the best rugby school in South Africa, traditionally the feeder for the Cheetahs lose seven players in one year to overseas clubs it just doesn’t sit well, does it?

The Cheetahs gets criticised because they are less competitive than their first season in the Pro14, how do they compete when financially they don’t have the revenue?

They aren’t just losing senior players anymore, their rugby nursery is now being raped and pillaged.

Cheetahs were competitive this season, especially at the start when they were slaughtering teams in Bloemfontein. It seems their top players also get nicked by the other provincial unions in SA, not just the French Very Happy.

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Post by Highland Shaun Sat 15 Aug 2020, 2:28 am

https://www.scottishrugbyblog.co.uk/2020/08/scots-in-england-the-run-down/.

Who knew there were so many down in England :O. Oh and, the journalist missed out Jack Stanley of Gloucester, according to the Scottish Rugby Podcast twitter account he's Scottish Qualified Smile.

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Post by Cumbrian Sat 15 Aug 2020, 12:22 pm

If Jock Campbell of the Queensland Reds doesn't have some Scottish blood, you might as well close this thread and forget about it.
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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 31 Aug 2020, 11:00 pm

https://twitter.com/Scrum365/status/1300420073560199172?s=19

You can add scrum half Rory Brand to this list!

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 01 Sep 2020, 6:29 pm

Highland Shaun wrote:https://twitter.com/Scrum365/status/1300420073560199172?s=19

You can add scrum half Rory Brand to this list!

He was a livewire for England under 20s mainly used off the bench. Chances at LI don't seem to have come about before the restart but he did ok off the bench Vs Tigers in mid week. Didn't see the game Vs Sarries. Good player ball in hand.

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Post by Highland Shaun Wed 09 Dec 2020, 11:38 pm

I don't like bumping this topic up but I've found another player we can add to this, maybe it'll cause interesting debate :-P

https://www.sarugbymag.co.za/province-coach-not-worried-by-transfer-rumours/

I doubt we are short in the position (Lock) but another South African could be imminent: David Muihuizen. I don't think the article gives much away other than that Mark Dodson has offered "big money" to the boy or club.

Surely there has to be a limit on the number of foreigners a nation picks because we are really taking the piss now!!?

Don't get me wrong, the ones we have do improve the team (especially DVDM and, when he's eligible, Pierre Schoeman) but I'd say there should be a limit on the number allowed, maybe about 4-5, but that's only my opinion Wink

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Post by BigGee Thu 10 Dec 2020, 7:38 am

If he is eligible for Scotland, then is he a foreigner?


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Post by tigertattie Thu 10 Dec 2020, 2:44 pm

BigGee wrote:If he is eligible for Scotland, then is he a foreigner?


Article 15 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that everyone has the right to change thier nationality
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Post by Hazel Sapling Thu 10 Dec 2020, 4:53 pm

Tom Marshall starting for Newcastle against Cardiff on the weekend at no. 8. Hopefully he gets on well.

The three year rule was ridiculous and five years is probably about right. Recent projects who were already established players (a fair few caps at Super Rugby or the level below) we took who went on or likely to go on to play for Scotland are Strauss, Nel, Kebble, CDP, Schoeman and JVDW. Can't think of any others off the top of my head. Strauss has finished, Nel is 35 this season, Kebble/Schoeman will compete for the LH berth for the next 6 - 8 seasons, CDP is on the fringes and JVDW is competing to be third choice.

Dell, DVDM and S Johnson were not established when signed even if they had potential and all will have spent or will spend five years in Scotland regardless.

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Post by Old Man Thu 10 Dec 2020, 7:46 pm

Yeah, I think that’s enough South Africans now. You still want to call your team Scotland, eh?

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 10 Dec 2020, 8:38 pm

Old Man wrote:Yeah, I think that’s enough South Africans now. You still want to call your team Scotland, eh?

As long as you keep producing giant locks, NH teams will keep coming!

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Post by 123456789. Thu 10 Dec 2020, 9:37 pm

I think we are reaching a point when our number of 'imports' is getting silly. I've always said nationality is complex, I was born in England to a Scottish family, grew up very much among a predominantly Scottish diaspora and have lived most of my life in England with a few odd periods in God's country. If I'd been ten times the rugby player that I was and there had been the most almighty injury crisis north and south of Hadrian's wall, I would have picked Scotland over England without a moment's thought. Indeed, I don't think I'd ever have played for England. I do get that it is impossible to discern how individuals feel, certainly the likes of Hamish Watson, Ali Price and Ryan Wilson came through the Scottish system and have made their lives and careers in Scotland.

Still, as things stand it would not be beyond the realms of possibility that we put out a team with more players born in South Africa than Scotland (Kebble, Nel, Du Preez, Van Der Walt, Van Der Merwe, Byron McGuigan) add in Toolis, Thomson, Cowan, Grigg, Johnson, Maitland and you're only looking at potentially three players born in the Northern Hemisphere.

As I said nationality is complex, it is hard to imagine a way that World Rugby can put laws out to fix this because, for example, movement between England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales is incredibly fluid. Or you could find the ability to play the likes of Graeme Morrison, John Barclay (both born in Hong Kong) or Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (born in Spain) hindered despite them being Scottish in every sense. Even when it comes to residency rules, you have players like Willem Nel who have made their lives in Scotland, settled his family in Scotland and if his interviews are anything to go by intends on being 'Scottish' for the rest of his puff.

In essence, it relies on the SRU and Gregor Townsend exercising a bit of discretion and trying to wean us off South African, Australian and New Zealander imports. It does look like the opposite is happening though. I think I'm right in saying Edinburgh have an 18 year old signed straight out of a South African school. Rugby is a business now though. The SRU have correctly calculated that fans at Murrayfield and little Murrayfield would rather see Duhan Van Der Merwe score from 40 yards, than Rory Hughes missing a tackle in his own 22 and conceding 7 points.

Frankly, I'd rather see a BokJock born in Johannesburg lift the Six Nations, than a pasty ginger from Kirkcaldy brandishing the wooden spoon. Perhaps that's part of the issue.

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Post by Old Man Thu 10 Dec 2020, 9:47 pm

I think it is impossible to stop the migration of players, however I do have an issue when we lose dozens of kids right out of school, and they are obviously some of our most promising players.

We cannot compete with European salaries and it was reported this week that David Meihuizen has recieved a “huge” offer from Scotland, he is only 23 and has big potential 2.08 meters tall weighing 123 kg, just anotherloss to SA rugby, you have to wonder at what point does it start affecting the average rugby supporter when his team looks more like a Barbarian side than a native side?

Or does winning at all cost compensate for national pride?

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 10 Dec 2020, 10:00 pm

It is getting a bit excessive with project players. With the SRU looking to actively recruit more it doesn't look like it's ending soon.

On the flip side, I would argue that in spite of our broad range of accents in the squad, most of our starting players; Hogg, Finn, Fagerson Sr, Sutherland, McInally, Brown, Ritchie, Cummings, Graham, Fagerson jr and Gray are "true" Scots. There's also many examples of "true" Anglicised Scots with strong family ties (like numbers and myself) in other key positions; Hastings, Watson, Price, Harris, DT, Skinner. That's almost a full XV or is a full XV with a couple out of position, most of whom have come through the Scottish system, I'd say considering our resources that's really not bad and definitely not as dire as the image painted by the media and Craig Chalmers. Although if we are now recruiting school kids I think that's quite a bit more concerning for our youth development.
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Post by LeinsterFan4life Thu 10 Dec 2020, 10:25 pm

Old Man wrote:I think it is impossible to stop the migration of players, however I do have an issue when we lose dozens of kids right out of school, and they are obviously some of our most promising players.

We cannot compete with European salaries and it was reported this week that David Meihuizen has recieved a “huge” offer from Scotland, he is only 23 and has big potential 2.08 meters tall weighing 123 kg, just anotherloss to SA rugby, you have to wonder at what point does it start affecting the average rugby supporter when his team looks more like a Barbarian side than a native side?

Or does winning at all cost compensate for national pride?
How do you expect players to stay in SA when they might not get a pro contract due to the colour of their skin? Only recently all the head coaches of the SA super rugby sides were summoned to explain why there weren't enough black players starting in the teams. If I was playing rugby in SA, I'd be looking to get out asap.

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Post by 123456789. Thu 10 Dec 2020, 10:59 pm

Old Man wrote:I think it is impossible to stop the migration of players, however I do have an issue when we lose dozens of kids right out of school, and they are obviously some of our most promising players.

We cannot compete with European salaries and it was reported this week that David Meihuizen has recieved a “huge” offer from Scotland, he is only 23 and has big potential 2.08 meters tall weighing 123 kg, just anotherloss to SA rugby, you have to wonder at what point does it start affecting the average rugby supporter when his team looks more like a Barbarian side than a native side?

Or does winning at all cost compensate for national pride?

Really difficult question.

As an Anglo-Scot, there is more than a dash of hypocrisy in the idea of a sort of only born on the soil approach. One that would have an impact on every team on the planet. There is no difference between Tendai Mtawarira playing for South Africa and Hamish Watson or Sam Skinner or Ali Price or Duncan Taylor or Chris Harris playing for Scotland. When countries border one another there is a large flow of people across them and that will be reflected in the makeup of international sports team.

Equally, people move countries all the time for all manner of reasons. I would say that the time period when I was most proud to be British was in 2012. The fact that Mo Farah was a refugee who became a champion athlete added to my sense of national pride. I was prouder that a guy who was from Somalia achieved his dreams in Britain than I was of when Greg Rutherford or Jess Ennis won on that same night.

You also have to consider that rugby is a business. I would be disappointed if Scotland were scouring the world for a second-row, we are well stocked in that position ourselves. Sam Skinner, Jonny Gray, Sam Skinner, Scott Cummings, Richie Gray, Ben Toolis and Grant Gilchrist is a fine collection of players for one position; not to mention big Bob Harley or players that can fill in there. However, just as Scottish second-rows play in Australia, England and France, South African players as individuals have every right to go elsewhere to play rugby. If Jonny Gray goes to Exeter then Glasgow Warriors have to find a replacement. Luckily they were able to find one from the same womb. But if Edinburgh or Glasgow want a second-row and this South African chap wants to experience a new culture and earn more doing it than why should rugby be any different to any other job? Edinburgh and Glasgow owe South Africa nothing.

The national team is a tad different and I suppose if the union side became the equivalent of the league team or the cricket side then I probably would be dismayed to some extent. I think Scotland are just about on the right side of the limit but only just.


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Post by Old Man Fri 11 Dec 2020, 3:31 am

123456789. wrote:
Old Man wrote:I think it is impossible to stop the migration of players, however I do have an issue when we lose dozens of kids right out of school, and they are obviously some of our most promising players.

We cannot compete with European salaries and it was reported this week that David Meihuizen has recieved a “huge” offer from Scotland, he is only 23 and has big potential 2.08 meters tall weighing 123 kg, just anotherloss to SA rugby, you have to wonder at what point does it start affecting the average rugby supporter when his team looks more like a Barbarian side than a native side?

Or does winning at all cost compensate for national pride?

Really difficult question.

As an Anglo-Scot, there is more than a dash of hypocrisy in the idea of a sort of only born on the soil approach. One that would have an impact on every team on the planet. There is no difference between Tendai Mtawarira playing for South Africa and Hamish Watson or Sam Skinner or Ali Price or Duncan Taylor or Chris Harris playing for Scotland. When countries border one another there is a large flow of people across them and that will be reflected in the makeup of international sports team.

Equally, people move countries all the time for all manner of reasons. I would say that the time period when I was most proud to be British was in 2012. The fact that Mo Farah was a refugee who became a champion athlete added to my sense of national pride. I was prouder that a guy who was from Somalia achieved his dreams in Britain than I was of when Greg Rutherford or Jess Ennis won on that same night.

You also have to consider that rugby is a business. I would be disappointed if Scotland were scouring the world for a second-row, we are well stocked in that position ourselves. Sam Skinner, Jonny Gray, Sam Skinner, Scott Cummings, Richie Gray, Ben Toolis and Grant Gilchrist is a fine collection of players for one position; not to mention big Bob Harley or players that can fill in there. However, just as Scottish second-rows play in Australia, England and France, South African players as individuals have every right to go elsewhere to play rugby. If Jonny Gray goes to Exeter then Glasgow Warriors have to find a replacement. Luckily they were able to find one from the same womb. But if Edinburgh or Glasgow want a second-row and this South African chap wants to experience a new culture and earn more doing it than why should rugby be any different to any other job? Edinburgh and Glasgow owe South Africa nothing.

The national team is a tad different and I suppose if the union side became the equivalent of the league team or the cricket side then I probably would be dismayed to some extent. I think Scotland are just about on the right side of the limit but only just.


Going by your response I think you have answered the question without much difficulty.

The haves will have the same general response (I have been given that line of response before), those losing the players don’t have a leg to stand on because they cannot compete with those salaries, so the natural response of “why not experience a new culture and earn more money, it is a human right” is a general one.

Which leads me to believe as fluid as the movement is between England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland is, as flexible is the national pride issue.

Depending on the circumstances one is prepared to look away.

Like I said initially, it is impossible to stop or prevent players moving for more money, it is the nature of professional sport, the active recruitment of young players to qualify or in the case of David Meihuizen who already qualifies makes test rugby more like club rugby than anything else as you can now buy success even at international level. Thus buying “national pride”

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Post by Old Man Fri 11 Dec 2020, 3:36 am

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Old Man wrote:I think it is impossible to stop the migration of players, however I do have an issue when we lose dozens of kids right out of school, and they are obviously some of our most promising players.

We cannot compete with European salaries and it was reported this week that David Meihuizen has recieved a “huge” offer from Scotland, he is only 23 and has big potential 2.08 meters tall weighing 123 kg, just anotherloss to SA rugby, you have to wonder at what point does it start affecting the average rugby supporter when his team looks more like a Barbarian side than a native side?

Or does winning at all cost compensate for national pride?
How do you expect players to stay in SA when they might not get a pro contract due to the colour of their skin? Only recently all the head coaches of the SA super rugby sides were summoned to explain why there weren't enough black players starting in the teams. If I was playing rugby in SA, I'd be looking to get out asap.

I don’t, 90% of players interviewed said the will move to overseas clubs, European clubs know this and therefor will exploit it. I fully understand that.

But the wolves that prowl our school competitions, lurking behind shadows, waiting to pounce on impressionable youngsters with a contract and ink pen promising them whatever they can is opportunism and exploitation that showcases unashamed desperation.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 11 Dec 2020, 6:34 am

I mean everyone will try to make best of what they have. South Africa arent above luring players when they can but obviously is less of a destination than Europe in rugby terms. If teams want to secure players then cap them. Simple as that.

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Post by Old Man Fri 11 Dec 2020, 6:40 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:I mean everyone will try to make best of what they have. South Africa arent above luring players when they can but obviously is less of a destination than Europe in rugby terms. If teams want to secure players then cap them. Simple as that.

Nah mate, we don’t lure anyone, some will come to SA in the hope of making a career in pro rugby here, like Tendai Mtwarira, a few others came to SA with their parents, but we have no active recruiting system for players to move here and qualify for SA, if the odd one makes it, it was pure determination on their part.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 11 Dec 2020, 8:09 am

I mean Mtawarira is the obvious one. If South Africa was more of a pull there would be a lot more. Similar to Argentina its not drawing a lot of foreign players to play in its league so there just isnt the opportunity for your coaches. When you've had the chance you've picked them, as any pro sport does.

But again in a similar situation to england if you dont want players developed in your own environment going elsewhere cap them and get them tied down.

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Post by profitius Fri 11 Dec 2020, 8:44 am

To be fair, if the Stormers lock is part Scottish then that's fair enough imo. That player has genetic and/or cultural ties to Scotland.


They've also made a bid for Munster's Ben Healy who has a Scottish mother I think.
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