Boks lift overseas player quota

The South African Rugby Union announced on Friday it had lifted its restriction on the number of overseas-based players eligible to play for the Springboks.

In a statement, Saru said that new Springboks coach Peter de Villiers coach would now be able to pick as many foreign-based players as he liked.

According to a 2004 rule, three overseas players were allowed to figure in the national team.

Saru president Oregan Hoskins explained: ”We want to give the Springbok coach the best tools to do the job to the best of his ability, and this decision does that.

”We do not expect the floodgates to open and it is our expectation that only a small number of overseas-based may be called up.

”But the [Saru] council was very clear that the selection of overseas-based players should place no expectation or obligation on the provinces to re-contract or offer new contracts to players.”

De Villiers has four players who have been playing overseas in his Springbok training squad — John Smit, Victor Matfield, Butch James and Percy Montgomery.

The Boks face Wales, the Six Nations champions, in Bloemfontein on June 7 and a week later in Pretoria. – Sapa-AFP

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