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Europe and Japan proving attractive to South Africans

Jacques_Nienaber1

(Munster will miss the coaching skills of Jacques Nienaber)
WITH two more South Africans joining Munster Rugby this week their numbers on the books rises to seven: Rassie Erasmus, Jacques Nienaber, Irish international CJ Stander, Chris Cloete, Jean Klein, Gerbrandt Grobler and Jaco Taute. There are two New Zealanders, Tyler Bleyendaal and Rhys Marshall, bringing the southern hemisphere representation to nine.
It appears that the player drain from South Africa is continuing at a high rate with local website Supersport.com reporting at the beginning of last season that “45 players have been confirmed to be moving abroad as the player drain continues, with the unique feature this time that a number of South African coaches have also been targeted by overseas clubs.”
The weakness of the South African rand has been mentioned as a possible cause of the rugby exodus while the interest in French and PRO12 clubs in players from the southern hemisphere, as well as the money on offer, has proven attractive. A change of rules by the Japanese rugby union, which now allows an extra player from abroad to get a contract once he has not represented his own country, has also been a factor. The Japanese have made no secret of the fact that these players may, some time in the future, qualify to play with Japan at international level.
This time last season, the list of South African players/coaches confirmed to join clubs in Europe/Japan, as published in 2016 by Sportsworld.com (with clubs they were heading to in brackets), read:
BULLS: Dean Greyling (Oyonnax), Marcel van der Merwe (Toulon), Werner Kruger (Scarlets), Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg (Montpellier), Le Roux Roets (Racing Metro), Lappies Labuschagne (Kubota Spears), Deon Stegmann (Honda Heat), Grant Hattingh (Kubota Spears), Jacques Potgieter (Fukuoka Sanix Blues returns for Super Rugby), Duhan van der Merwe (Montpellier)
CHEETAHS: Maks van Dyk (Toulouse), Coenie van Wyk (Toshiba Brave Lupis), Henry Immelman (Montpellier), Willie Britz (NTT Shining Arcs), Francois Uys (Toyota Verblitz, returns for Super Rugby)
STORMERS: Vincent Koch (Saracens), Schalk Burger (Saracens), Nic Groom (Northampton Saints), Louis Schreuder (Kubota Spears), Jean Kleyn (Munster)
SHARKS_Marcell Coetzee (Ulster), JP Pietersen (Leicester Tigers), Paul Jordaan (La Rochelle), Joe Pietersen (Kamiashi Seawaves) Kyle Cooper (Newcastle Falcons)
LIONS: Franco Mostert (Lyon), Derick Minnie (Zebre), Marnitz Boshoff (Connacht), Warren Whiteley (Docomo Red Hurricanes, returns for Super Rugby), Jaco Kriel (Kubota Spears, returns for Super Rugby), Lionel Mapoe (Kubota Spears, returns for Super Rugby), Elton Jantjies (NTT Shining Arcs, returns for Super Rugby), Lloyd Greeff (Zebre), Warwick Tecklenburg (Kamiashi Seawaves, returns for Super Rugby)
SOUTHERN KINGS: Steven Sykes (Oyonnax), Schalk Oelofste (Mont-de-Marsan), Philip du Preez (Mont-de-Marsan), Louis Fouche (Kubota Spears), Aiden Davids (Toulon), James Hall (Oyonnax, returns for Super Rugby), Shane Gates (NTT Shining Arcs), Jurgen Visser (Docomo Red Hurricanes)
SA SEVENS: Francois Hougaard (Worcester)
LEOPARDS: Bart Le Roux (Zebre)
Unattached: Gerbrand Grobler (Racing Metro, suspension ends October 8, 2016)
South Africans moving between overseas clubs: Pedrie Wannenberg (Castres to Denver), Nick Fenton-Wells (Bedford to Bristol), Pat Cilliers (Montpellier to Leicester Tigers), Dewald Potgieter (Yamaha Jublio to Worcester Warriors), Matt Williams (Northampton Saints to Worcester Warriors), Sebastien de Chaves (Leicester Tigers to London Irish), Devin Hope (Coventry to London Scottish), Jody Jenneker (Oyonnax to Castres), Robert Ebersohn (Montpellier to Castres), Juandre Kruger (Racing Metro to Toulon) _Pellow van der Westhuizen (Clermont to Montauban), George Earle (Scarlets to Cardiff), Pat Howard (Northampton Saints to Newport Gwent Dragons), Rynier Bernardo (Ospreys to Scarlets), Gerhard van der Heever (Munster to Yamaha Jubilo), Jean Cook (Zebre to Kintetsu)
Coaches heading overseas: Dawie Theron (Docomo Red Hurricanes), Andre Tredoux (Docomo Red Hurricanes), Rassie Erasmus (Munster), Jacques Nienaber (Munster), Frans Ludeke (Kubota Spears), John McFarland (Kubota Spears), Eugene Eloff (Austin Huns), Phil Pretorius (Cayman Islands).

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