SA Rugby is set to implement a player draft system that will cut the professional player pool nearly in half, from around 990 to 460.
The unions, then, will only be able to contract between 40-50 players a season. The player surplus will then be placed into a draft system t be called upon when needed.
At the launch of this season’s PRO14, SA Rugby president Mark Alexander was quoted saying:
“We’ve created a false market in this country. It’s simply not sustainable having 990 players trying to make a living.”
“We have the biggest number in the world.
“In the new model all the best players will be playing all the time. You won’t have the third and fourth choice guys sitting in the store-room.
“Some players will have normal jobs and work in the day, and earn a salary, and then play on weekends, and receive a game fee. Once we bring in the draft system smaller teams will benefit by being able to select players that would ordinarily not get game time at the franchises.
Alexander went on to explain “This initiative is driven by the unions in conjunction with the players and their association,”
“They’ve drafted this document, it’s a great one. We should’ve done this much earlier.”