Marais defends SA players heading overseas
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: He may not agree with his players' decision to go abroad but Bulls coach Nollis Marais fully comprehends their reasons. Josh Isaacson reports.
The phenomenon of South African talent being targeted by foreign clubs is nothing new and the news of Springbok Jan Serfontein being lured overseas will certainly not be the last.
The 24-year-old along with his teammate flyhalf Tian Schoeman are both heading abroad after the Super Rugby season.
The duo will play their last match at Loftus against the Stormers on Saturday.
"Jan [Serfontein's exit] is a massive loss, especially with his current form," Marais said.
"But that is the nature of South African Rugby... I don't think he will be the last guy [to head abroad].
"If [the franchise] can’t keep the guys and match the [overseas based club] in terms of money, they [the players] will all leave," Marais added.
The Bulls will also be without the services the lock-pair of Jason Jenkins and Rudolph Snyman during the Currie Cup.
Jenkins head to for Verblitz, while Snyman has signed to play for Heat in Japan. They will only return at the beginning of the 2018 Super Rugby season which already puts a dent in the Bulls pre-season preparations.
"[Jenkins and Snyman heading to Japan] does make our Super Rugby preparation difficult. I would have loved to have them here for Currie Cup but unfortunately, that is how it is.
"If we want to keep them here at the franchise, we just have to put in that clauses that allow them to go play abroad during Super Rugby off season.
"Every [South African] union have the same problem at the moment. But it going to be difficult down the line.
"In my personal opinion, I would prefer if they don't head to Japan. It will be better if they are here. The first month after they return from the Japan is always difficult for them, I have experienced that with Jesse [Kriel - who went to Japan in 2015]
"But I understand financially it is in their best interest to head overseas," he added.
By Josh Isaacson