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SA Rugby softens stance on overseas-based players

SA Rugby softens stance on overseas-based players

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has been given the all-clear by South Africa's Rugby bosses to pick overseas-based players even if they have less than 30 caps.

Initially, SA Erasmus would be allowed to pick overseas-based players with less than 30 Test caps, if he could motivate his reasons for doing so.

And now SA Rugby have softened their stance altogether with Erasmus now allowed to select any overseas-based players regardless of whether they have been capped or not, saying if Erasmus is to be given the best chance to perform, they 'don't want to limit him in that regard'.

“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,” SA Rugby president told reporters on Wednesday.

“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.”

Europe-based players the Bok boss may be interested in, either for the June Tests or later on, include Frans Steyn, Juan de Jongh, Vincent Koch, Duane Vermeulen, Bismarck du Plessis, Faf de Klerk, Cobus Reinach, Jan Serfontein, Willie le Roux and perhaps also JP Pietersen, Pat Lambie and Ruan Ackermann.

Erasmus is set to name his first Bok squad on Saturday, May 26, a week before the match in Washington against Wales.

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