Home Rugby Springboks Analysis: Would An Overseas XV Beat A Domestic XV?

Springboks Analysis: Would An Overseas XV Beat A Domestic XV?

Former Springbok coach Jake White questioned South Africa’s policy on picking overseas players in a recent column for All Out Rugby.

The South African Rugby Union recently introduced a new policy on overseas players, that would not allow those with under 30 caps to be picked for the Springboks, outside of a World Cup year.

In his column, White stated:

“Whenever I’ve been asked, in the years following my time coaching the Boks, about picking overseas-based players, I’ve always been adamantly against it. I haven’t changed my stance.

“But the problem is, when you have almost every top player leaving the country, then you get to a tipping point where you have to pick those players.”

He then went on to make another point regarding South African rugby’s dependency on overseas players, saying:

“It feels like SA Rugby is in a spiral because we’ve put ourselves in a position where an Overseas SA XV would probably beat the Boks every time, so there’s no way we can afford not to pick the best overseas players now.”

But would an overseas-based Boks team really beat a local one?

Here we’ve picked the best local and overseas-based teams before combining the two.

The Local XV:

South African Super Rugby sides certainly have plenty of young talent at their disposal, with at least five players under the age of 24 in my local-based XV. With exciting tight forwards like Malcolm Marx, Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit, there is plenty of depth in the tight five.

There are also a lot of quality loose forwards like Jaco Kriel and the son of former Springbok Robert du Preez in the form of Jean-Luc du Preez. The backline is littered with talent, as former Junior World Player of the Year Handré Pollard lines up alongside the explosive Lions centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg.

  1. Ox Nché
  2. Malcolm Marx
  3. Trevor Nyakane
  4. Eben Etzebeth
  5. Pieter-Steph du Toit
  6. Jaco Kriel
  7. Jean-Luc du Preez
  8. Warren Whiteley
  9. Cobus Reinach
  10. Handré Pollard
  11. Courtnall Skosan
  12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg
  13. Francois Venter
  14. Ruan Combrinck
  15. SP Marais

_________

The Overseas XV:

With plenty of Springbok internationals and over 580 test caps between them, an overseas-based Springbok team would have plenty of knowhow when it comes to big games. A relatively inexperienced tight five, with two outstanding props in Koch and Kitshoff, along with a world-class hooker in Bismarck du Plessis and a formidable lock pairing of Flip van der Merwe and Jacques du Plessis, the overseas-based side would certainly have the edge at scrum time.

There is plenty of experience in the loose trio, with explosive ball carriers in Vermeulen and Coetzee and the brilliant breakdown work of Bath captain Francois Louw. The backline is no different, with the South African record try scorer lining up alongside the likes of Morne Steyn and the mercurial talent that is Francois Steyn, this certainly would be a game to watch.

  1. Steven Kitshoff
  2. Bismarck du Plessis
  3. Vincent Koch
  4. Flip van der Merwe
  5. Jacques du Plessis
  6. Francois Louw
  7. Marcell Coetzee
  8. Duane Vermuelen
  9. Francois Hougaard
  10. Morne Steyn
  11. Bryan Habana
  12. Francois Steyn
  13. Paul Jordaan
  14. Gio Aplon
  15. Willie Le Roux

_________

The Combined XV:

  1. Steven Kitshoff
  2. Bismarck du Plessis
  3. Vincent Koch
  4. Eben Etzebeth
  5. Pieter-Steph du Toit
  6. Jaco Kriel
  7. Marcell Coetzee
  8. Duane Vermuelen
  9. Francois Hougaard
  10. Handré Pollard
  11. Bryan Habana
  12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg
  13. Francois Venter
  14. Ruan Combrinck
  15. Francois Steyn

While the overseas-based XV has plenty of experienced international superstars, South Africa still has plenty of unbelievable talent based in South Africa, and picking the ideal Springbok side would require balancing young, local players, with experienced, overseas-based players.

Darren Holliday, Pundit Arena

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