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Embarassing statistic encapsulates the extent of the Springbok exodus

By Ian Cameron

Trending on RugbyPass

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Sometimes stats can be misleading – of course.


Yet, sometimes stats come along that so elegantly condense an idea or the circumstance of a situation of they demand recognition.

Russ Petty on Twitter has found one of these stats and it relates to the Springbok exodus.

Today Warren Gatland’s side will face the Springboks in the US capital at Washington’s RFK Stadium. On show will be a largely a second string Springbok team.

Between they boast just 134 caps.

Meanwhile, the Montpellier team for the Top 14 final can boast an astonishing 293 caps.


Yes, the Springbok team for the DC game is significantly underpowered, but still.

Montpellier aren’t the only European side with a distinctly South Africa flavour. Gloucester, Saracens, Ulster, Sale Sharks and Munster have all gone down the route of stocking their larders with South African beef.

With the Rand weak against both the Euro and Pound; not to mention the constant political flux South Africa seems to perpetually find itself in, for many players a move north is a no-brainer.


Despite this, the Springboks have effectively scrapped the 30-cap ruling for South African born players who ply their rugby overseas. For the World Cup year, Rassie Erasmus will be allowed to pick who he wants, regardless of where they play.

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Many have questioned the point of the fixture which falls out of the international window. Wales have also fielded a weakened team.

Gatland has suggested it’s a rare chance to experiment with players ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

“Saturday is a huge opportunity for this squad and for players individually,” said Wales head coach Warren Gatland.“Everything we are doing is geared for the RWC in 15 months’ time and the next three matches are a hugely important part of our development. This weekend is an opportunity for players to build on their test rugby experience and lay a marker down for the jersey and for the position going forward.

“I think there are exciting selections across the team and I’m looking forward to Saturday to see what we are able to do against the Springboks.”

Washington bound South Africans fans wanting Bok rugby on the road might have been better advised to travel to the Stade de France in Paris, rather than America’s capital.

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Embarassing statistic encapsulates the extent of the Springbok exodus