Columns 30.8.2014 06:00 am

Down Under is wising up to reality

Jon Swift

Jon Swift

The power of professionalism – brought into rugby by the late Louis Luyt to head off the threat of a mass exodus of South Africa’s top players in the wake of the 1995 victory in the World Cup – continues to exert pressure on the long-accepted way of doing things.

So it is of more than passing interest that another World Cup two decades down the line should be the catalyst for a sea of change in the outdated attitudes that have held sway in Australia and New Zealand.

Both have steadfastly adhered to a policy which in effect blacklisted overseas-based players from selection for their national sides – a policy which has largely been abandoned elsewhere. Picking expats has been very much the cornerstone of Springbok selection of late.

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