UPDATE: Rassie allowed to pick expat Saffas

Fri, 11 May 2018 08:20

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Springboks head coach Johan 'Rassie' Erasmus has been given the freedom to select overseas-based players ahead of next year's World Cup in Japan.

The 30-Test cap policy is still officially in place, however, Erasmus has been allowed to select whoever he wants - even if the player playing his trade overseas and has no Test caps.

According to the South African media reports, the SA Rugby president Mark Alexander confirmed the news on Thursday in Johannesburg.

"Rassie has got a year to prepare the team, and in this, the last year [before the World Cup] he’s allowed to pick players locally and abroad,” Alexander told reporters.

“He’s been speaking to some players [overseas] and we’ve given him leeway to do that.

"He only has 18 Tests between now and the World Cup and he wants to give everyone an opportunity to be seen to make the Springbok team.

“There’s no limit on the number of players he can pick [from overseas].

"There’s an agreement for him to perform and we don’t want to limit him in that regard. He has access to the [overseas] players and can utilise them when and how he requires,"

The lifting of the rule does open the door for Europe-based players like  Juan de Jongh, Vincent Koch, Francois de Klerk, Cobus Reinach, Jan Serfontein, Willie le Roux and Ruan Ackerman..