NO THANKS: All Blacks reject calls to copy Springboks’ selection policy

Sam Cane’s suggestion that the All Blacks copy the Springboks’ selection policy has sparked furious debate, resulting in New Zealand Rugby issuing an official statement on the matter.

New Zealand Rugby has responded to Sam Cane’s plea that the All Blacks implement in the Springboks’ policy of selecting overseas-based players for Test rugby.


Despite being eligible, only players who are based in New Zealand and compete for their Super Rugby teams will be taken into consideration for the All Blacks, according to the regulations of New Zealand Rugby.

Contrarily, according to SA Rugby regulations, any player who is eligible for Springbok selection is eligible to be selected regardless of where they play; this is demonstrated by the fact that 17 of the 33 players on the Springboks’ original World Cup roster were based abroad. Later, when Handre Pollard was called up to take Malcolm Marx’s position after he was hurt, it became 18.

“A lot of the Springboks have shown the ability to play in League One and go back to international rugby fairly quickly and continue to play their best,” Cane told reporters, expressing his belief that the All Blacks can learn from the Springboks in that area.

Although Scott Robertson, the new coach of the All Blacks, has previously stated that he is amenable to changing the eligibility requirements for the All Blacks, it seems that New Zealand Rugby is still firmly opposed to the idea, believing that it would inevitably dilute Super Rugby.


NZ Rugby issued a statement on Tuesday outlining their position in response to Cane’s recent remarks.

The success and legacy of rugby in New Zealand are still largely based on the current standards. Senior, long-serving players in both the men’s and women’s games have the option to play abroad and then make a long-term commitment to return to New Zealand thanks to the present standards.

“NZR is still searching for ways to keep international competitions and national teams competitive. It is not anticipated that the criteria would alter much in the near future, and extensive stakeholder consultation would be necessary.


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