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Merit with bias was a phrase SA rugby became used to in the late 1990s as Springbok coaches and selectors struggled to meet transformation requirements, and maybe it’s time we became reacquainted with it.

No, this is not a revisit to how it was applied then, when it related to the idea that if you had a black player and white player of relatively equal ability, the black player would be selected. Instead, in its modern application, “merit with bias” should be adopted as part of the selection policy for Bok coaches relating to overseas-based players. Which, by way of the best example, would mean that if you have the Stormers’ Evan Roos or the Bulls’ Elrigh Louw available to you at No 8, you should not be selecting the Leicester Tigers’ Jasper Wiese...

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