Rugby disaster made in China

Rugby disaster made in China

BASED OVERSEAS: Veteran Bryan Habana

Rise of new far east league will further weakens SA's stocks.

Pretty soon our domestic rugby teams will really be second-rate, while we will continue to ship our talented young stars overseas.

Last week, the game’s chiefs World Rugby announced that China is now their next big focus, with an injection of $100million and the hope of luring one million players to the country over the next five years.

F***it my china, really?

Is Japan now not enough? Are we not already losing too many players because of the money in the sport?

The game of rugby is truly becoming like soccer now and that’s not a good thing.



In the near future, our Super Rugby franchises won’t be able to compete against teams from China.

It’s like when Japan beat us at last year’s World Cup – unthinkable, yet it is not impossible.

China isn’t even in the top 30 in the world at the moment, but as long as there is money to be made, who cares who has passion for the game or not?

At the end of 2015, there were nearly 300 South Africans plying their trade abroad – almal van Gio Aplon tot Paul Willemse.

Now that’s almost 20 starting line-ups of professional players not playing in this country.

I can see this doubling when this new Chinese league kicks off.

So who’s to blame for this? World Rugby, of course.

Look, the South African Rugby Union was the main culprits until now for not being able to hold onto its top players.

But Bill Beaumont and the rest of the suits at World Rugby are giving this country, and others with weaker currencies, a slow lethal injection.

It’s not only going to have an impact on South Africans.

But the money men will be chasing the best in the world – and the best in the world is currently in New Zealand.

With their policy of not selecting overseas-based players, I fear that the mighty All Blacks might not be as strong in years to come.

In fact, I believe the game will decline globally.

There is of course a way to try and counter this and that’s if the countries contract their main attractions and pay them their worth to keep them at home.

This will only be temporary, though, as the money men will then continue to throw their weight around.

Think Paul Pogba-type deals. The Rand won’t be able to compete and subsequently our players will look to earn millions – like they already do, abroad.

It will, though, become only easier.

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