Springboks and All Blacks captains Rugby World Cup

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi and his All Blacks counterpart Sam Cane. Photo: @RugbyWorldCup via X.

NO THANKS: All Blacks reject calls to copy Springboks’ selection policy

Sam Cane’s suggestion that the All Blacks copy the Springboks’ selection policy has sparked furious debate, resulting in New Zealand Rugby issuing an official statement on the matter.

Springboks and All Blacks captains Rugby World Cup

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi and his All Blacks counterpart Sam Cane. Photo: @RugbyWorldCup via X.

New Zealand Rugby has responded to Sam Cane’s plea that the All Blacks implement in the Springboks’ policy of selecting overseas-based players for Test rugby.

MUST READ | All Blacks must use Springboks’ overseas-player policy, insists skipper Sam Cane


By New Zealand Rugby’s rules, only players based in New Zealand and playing for their Super Rugby franchises will be considered for All Blacks selection despite being eligible.

By contrast, the SA Rugby’s rules state that any one player eligible for Springbok selection are in contention to be picked, irrespective of where in the world they play; case in point being the 17 overseas-based players in the Springboks’ original 33-man World Cup squad. It later became 18 when Handre Pollard was called up to replace the injured Malcolm Marx.

Cane believes that the All Blacks can learn lessons from the Springboks in that regard, saying: “A lot of the Springboks have shown the ability to play in League One and go back to international rugby fairly quickly and continue to play their best,” Cane told reporters

New All Blacks coach Scott Robertson has also previously spoken about being open to a change in All Blacks’ eligibility rules but it would appear that New Zealand Rugby is still very much against it because they think a direct consequence would be the dilution of Super Rugby.

MUST READ | Springboks make major coaching appointment – report


In the wake of Cane’s recent comments, NZ Rugby released the following statement on Tuesday, explaining their stance.

“The existing criteria remains a key foundation of New Zealand rugby’s legacy and success. The current criteria enables senior, long-serving players – in both the men’s and women’s game – the opportunity to play overseas and then return to New Zealand as part of a long-term commitment.

“NZR continues to look at ways to maintain the competitiveness of competitions and national teams globally. Any significant change to the criteria is not foreseeable in the short term and would require significant consultation with all our stakeholders.”

ALSO READ | All Blacks skipper Sam Cane joins Cheslin Kolbe at Tokyo Suntory Sungoliath

ALSO READ | Can rusty Springboks salvage struggling Stormers’ season?

Rugby World Cup, Springboks, All Blacks
Springboks vs All Blacks in the 2023 Rugby World Cup final. Image: @rugbyworldcup/X