Rassie: Great that SA players get international opportunities elsewhere

Rassie Erasmus (Getty)
Rassie Erasmus (Getty)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no problem with South African-born players moving abroad for opportunities that they were not given at home.

The Boks will line up against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday with the hosts fielding no less than three South African-born players in their matchday 23. 

Prop WP Nel starts while another prop in Allan Dell and former Lions loose forward Josh Strauss are on the bench. 

In midfield, Scotland will also field former Stormers centre Huw Jones, who was capped at Test level while living in South Africa. 

It is not uncommon for the Boks to face South African-born players when they are on their end-of-year tour in Europe, and Erasmus says he has no issues with players making the move up north. 

There are reportedly around 400 South African-born rugby players currently plying their trade in Europe. 

"I just think that's the way the modern game goes," Erasmus explained on Thursday after naming his side.

"If a guy like that doesn't get the opportunity in South Africa then it is wonderful for them to play for another country. We're chuffed for them.

"I was the guy who signed WP Nel as a club player at Western Province so I know his talent.

"I don't know Huw Jones that well, but the players know him well. We know most of them. They're good chaps and they deserve their chance and the chance to play international rugby."

Erasmus is expecting a tough clash.

"You can see it is a fit team that knows its systems. What they lack in size they make up for in speed and intensity," he said.

"We know what we're in for ... it's going to be a tough game."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 19:20



15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Pete Horne, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Sam Skinner 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 WP Nel, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Gordon Reid

Substitutes: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Josh Strauss, 20 Jamie Ritchie, 21 Ali Price, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Chris Harris.

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 S’bu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Cheslin Kolbe 

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