World Rugby have today (May 10, 2017) passed a resolution that nations may no longer nominate their U20 team as their “second team” beginning January 2018.
The Boks’ U20 side have been South Africa’s nominated “second team” since 2013 which lead to the likes of Timo Swiel declining a call up to the U20’s as he wanted to keep his international options open. CJ Stander was the captain of the Baby Bok side in 2010, but they weren’t the second team then, and that allowed him to qualify for Ireland on residency grounds. Another example is Braam Steyn, who represented the Baby Boks in 2012, but now plays for the Italian national team.
WR have also passed a rule increasing the residency eligibility duration from 36 months (3 years) to 60 months (five years)
The five year residency rule is perhaps a good one for South African rugby, but there are fears that more U20 stars might end up representing other nations in the future, with nothing to tie them back to the Republic if they wanted to play for France, Italy, Japan or one of the Celtic nations.