Editorials 12.5.2017 05:45 am

Crime a factor in rugby exports

Bryan Habana. Photo: Gabriele Maltinti/Gallo Images

Bryan Habana. Photo: Gabriele Maltinti/Gallo Images

It is not just the favourable exchange rate that is making local rugby players leave in droves.

Springbok stalwart Bryan Habana and Irish hooker Richardt Strauss have highlighted an area of concern for South African rugby stars playing abroad; it is not just the favourable exchange rate that is making local rugby players leave in droves, citing crime as a major factor in the exodus.

Habana, the Bok record tryscorer with 65 and a veteran of 124 Tests in the Green and Gold and now with French giants Toulon, said: “A lot people think rugby players go overseas to gain money, to gain a residency in another country. But there are so many different factors which people take into consideration.”

Strauss represented South Africa at Under-19 level before throwing in his lot with Leinster and has worn the Irish jersey 17 times since 2012.

He was more forthright. “I’m so scared of going back and waiting for something to happen,” he told The Times in London.

“If a violent crime happens it’s too late, isn’t it? It’s too late to make a decision then. My family have been lucky.”

Which individuals with exportable skills, we would ask, would not leave a country with one of the highest murder rates in the world? We would suggest very few.

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