Rassie certainly has something his predecessor, Allister Coetzee, did not have. Some influence on policy! Rassie can get the SARU board to back down on decisions and change their rules if he needs or wants them to do so.
SA Rugby made the decision that no overseas-based players with less than 30 Springbok caps would be considered for selection any more. (An obvious attempt to tie down some of the younger players who still want to represent their country. This tactic has failed, as players simply give up on their international ambitions in favour of a big paycheque.)
Allister Coetzee whinged and whined about the restriction, but to no avail.
Rassie, however, will be allowed to pick overseas-based players who have less than 30 Test caps if he gives valid reasons for their selection.
“Rassie spoke to us about it,” said re-elected SA Rugby president Mark Alexander. “The (30-Test cap eligibility) rule remains, but we will consider every request by Rassie on its merits. The Boks are SA Rugby’s flagship and we will do everything we can to give them the necessary support.”
I am inclined to think that this decision is less about the Springboks being the flagship and more about the money? SARU is in deep financial guano at the moment, according to their latest financial statements. They need some willing and happy sponsors to throw some of their money at the game. Perhaps the best way to generate some of the green stuff is getting the Springboks back into winning mode? Everybody loves to be associated with a winning team, especially the corporate giants who have no idea what a rugby field looks like, but they want the reflected glory to wash over their brands.