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SA-based Springboks to face Eddie Jones' England

By Ian Cameron
Frans Steyn catches a high ball /PA

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SA Rugby looks set to reward their South African-based players in 2022 when they field a Springboks team against Eddie Jones’ England exclusively made up of players based in the country.

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The Boks are set to face England in a Test match at Twickenham on Saturday, 26 November, 2022 – a date that falls outside the official international window.

As a result, the Boks will likely be without their French and English-based squad members. According to Afrikaans outlet Rapport in South Africa, the plan is to field a team purely made up of those plying their trade in the Rainbow Nation.

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As it stands, the majority of the Springboks’ first team are now playing abroad, with the likes of Eben Etzebeth, Duane Vermeulen, Cobus Reinach, Handré Pollard, Malcolm Marx, Joseph Dweba, Trevor Nyakane, Vincent Koch, RG Snyman, Lood de Jager, Faf de Klerk, Franco Mostert, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Rynhardt Elstadt, Jean-Luc du Preez, Dan du Preez, Elton Jantjies, Damian de Allende, Cheslin Kolbe, Jesse Kriel, Kwagga Smith, Jasper Wiese, Willie le Roux and Marco van Staden all set to miss out on the game.

Head coach Jacques Nienaber should still be able to call on the likes of Siya Kolisi, Lukhanyo Am, Sbu Nkosi, Aphelele Fassi, Ox Nché, Makazole Mapimpi, Herschel Jantjies, Frans Steyn and Marcell Coetzee.

Given that it falls outside of the international window, England boss Jones will also be unlikely to pick a first-team selection for the match himself.

The news comes after a number of calls for the Springboks to stop selecting overseas players. Prior to the 2019 Rugby World Cup the Boks ditched their policy of favouring home-based players and it was widely cited as a major reason behind their ultimate success in the tournament.

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Last week saw Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White call on the Springboks to stop selecting overseas-based players ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

“Now is a good time, before the next contracting cycle, for SA Rugby to draw a line on picking players who are contracted to overseas clubs,” White told SA Rugby Mag last week. “South Africa are world champions and SA Rugby did something that has worked because, in 2018 when Rassie Erasmus was appointed, the current cycle of Springbok players were all overseas. But we can’t allow that with the next cycle of players.

“South African franchises have basically become academies for overseas clubs.”

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