English coach explains why South African rugby players are in demand overseas

Faf de Klerk (Getty)
Faf de Klerk (Getty)

The drain of players leaving South African shores to play the game overseas, particularly in England and Europe, is nothing new.

It's been an ongoing problem that local teams, and SA Rugby have had to deal with for a number of years now.

But why do coaches of overseas teams love to have South African players on their books?

Well, Sale Sharks director of rugby, Alex Sanderson has lifted the lid on why his club in particular love to sign them.

Speaking on the "All Access" podcast on Rugby Pass, Sanderson gave his thoughts.

And he says it's not just their size that makes signing South African players desirable, although obviously, that does help.

“Well most of them, with the exception of Faf (de Klerk) are massive, which helps,” said Sanderson.

“They are very polite, which is always nice. They are easily coachable. You can push them in ways that you can push people who have been brought in the public schools or academy systems in this country, so the transition of them coming to South Africa from England, it’s not like you have to adapt your coaching methodology," Sanderson added.

Other South African players on the books of the Sale Sharks other than De Klerk include Coenie Oosthuizen, Akker van der Merwe, Lood de Jager, Rohan Janse van Rensburg and the Du Preez brothers.

Anderson also went on to explain why he thinks the South African players at the club fit in so well.

"They are very spiritual and religious and so they understand buying into a higher purpose, something that transcends a workplace or an accolade. And if you can get a big guy who’s motivated with a sense of higher purpose then you’ve got a bit of a warrior haven’t you?" said Anderson.

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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