- Mark Alexander described Springbok captain Siya Kolisi’s impending post-World Cup departure to French Club Racing 92 as "sad".
- However, the SARU president said he understood why the Springbok captain made the decision.
- Racing confirmed this week that the Sharks loose-forward would join them after the Rugby World Cup held in France.
South African Rugby Union (SARU) president Mark Alexander called Siya Kolisi’s impending post-World Cup departure to French Club Racing 92 "sad" but added he understood why the Springbok captain made the decision.
Racing confirmed this week that the Sharks loose-forward would join them following the 2023 Rugby World Cup held in France later this year.
Alexander said there was a need for elite rugby players to maximise their earning potential and to take care of their families well beyond their playing careers.
"It’s sad to see Siya go. He’s one of the greatest Springbok captains of all time," Alexander said.
"He’s done wonderful things for the country but how do you tell a person that they can’t go and double or triple what they’re earning now?
"Older players need to earn the maximum amount of money they can in the shortest possible period.
"There’s life after rugby and, once they stop playing, people forget you very quickly. And then you’re on your own and you have to live and you have a family to support.
"I understand why Siya made that decision. But it’s really sad to see him go, as with most of our players who go overseas."
Alexander added that the imminent SA Rugby private equity deal could open wider revenue possibilities that could allow them to keep top talents in SA.
"Once we can be able to sell our properties in pounds and euros, we can sustain and keep our players here," Alexander added.