As of July 1, South Africa can only select overseas players who have been capped more than 30 times on the international stage.
The policy replaces the current selection process where any player eligible to represent South Africa could potentially be picked by the Springbok management.
However, the head coach will be allowed to select any player, regardless of caps in a World Cup year.
The policy comes into effect this year after a three-test series against France.
Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby laid out the simple reasoning behind the move.
“We are sending a message to young players that if they wish to play for the Springboks, then they must remain in South Africa.
“We have made this change in what we believe are the best interests of the Springbok team but we will review it periodically in conjunction with the national coach.” Quote via RugbyDump.
Comparing South Africa to other southern hemisphere nations, New Zealand do not select overseas-based players regardless of the number of times they’ve been capped and Australia only select overseas players who have amassed more than 60 caps for the Wallabies.
Established Springboks such as Marcel Coetzee (28 caps) and Vincent Koch (9) will miss out on future internationals unless they return to South African shores.
South African overseas players such as Duane Vermeulen, Morne Steyn, Willem Alberts, Francois Louw, JP Pietersen, Willie Le Roux and Francois Hougaard are all eligible under the new selection policy.