Few topics get fans hotter under the collar than the IRB's three-year residency rule, which has blurred the lines of loyalty, national pride and sporting fairness.
Last week, a national press agency released a story headlined "Strauss released to play for Scotland" in which Golden Lions president Kevin de Klerk explained how the Johannesburg team had released former captain Joshua Strauss following his "request to pursue his international career with Scotland" via a stint with Glasgow Warriors that would "make him eligible to... participate in the next World Cup."
Strauss is not Scottish by birth nor heritage, even if his impressive beard would have us believe he is a time-travelling Highlander from 1297. While you can't fault his desire to play Test rugby, it's hard not to tag him as a mercenary.
The British and Irish Lions are set to jet out to Australia next year with a squad - led by a Kiwi - likely to feature such names as Manu Tuilagi, Tim Visser, Richardt Strauss and Mouritz Botha.
Japan's squad at the 2011 World Cup was liberally sprinkled with New Zealanders and Pacific Islanders. Salesi Ma'afu is a Wallaby but his brother, Campese, plays for Fiji. A third brother, Apakuka, has played Sevens for Tonga...the list goes on and on.
It's a purist's nightmare.
But in the world of professional sport, where national teams have become commercial commodities, is it the responsibility of a team's coach/selectors to defend the integrity of that country's national identity? Is that even possible when the coach is also a foreigner?
Perhaps the question should be whether such ideas of nationality still have a place in the cultural mixing pot of today's Global Village. Should we condemn notions of exclusive nationality to the 1930s and accept that in 2012, your home is where you lay your hat?
Let's not however lose sight of the fact that rugby is steeped in tradition. Powerful images like Martin Castrogiovanni shedding a tear as he belts out his national anthem, James Small almost tearing a hole in his jersey as he tries to prevent the pride in the badge on his chest from bubbling over or Piri Weepu leading the haka are part and parcel of what has made our game so special for so long.
Compare that to the uncomfortable image of former New Zealand Rugby League international Shontayne Hape, clad in a white England jersey, mouthing the words to 'God Save the Queen' before facing his countrymen at Twickenham.
Advocates of the three-year rule will point to the example of Visser, who would probably be a popular choice for mayor of Edinburgh. The Dutchman is a world-class talent, of that there is no doubt. Would it be fair to restrict his international career to the country of his birth? (The Netherlands play in European Nations Cup division 2A with Lithuania, Malta, Croatia and Switzerland).
Visser, however, is the exception to the rule and the Crooked Feed believes that - and this a rare occurrence - the rest of the world should follow South Africa's example. In the Republic, the equation is simple: if you want to wear the green and gold, in any sport, then you must be a South African citizen, as 'Beast' Mtawarira found out (the hard way) a few years ago.
Of course that's an unworkable solution in the real world because it's just a matter of time before result-hungry governments start handing out passports will-nilly.
The easiest solution, assuming everyone agrees that there IS a problem with the current system, would be to extend the residence rule to five years, as is the case in the round-ball version of the game (much as it pains us to acknowledge that FIFA are doing something right). Of course, the three-year rule should still apply to players younger than 21.
Meanwhile, on a not-entirely-unrelated topic, we'd like to award in inaugural Idiot of the Month gong to former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers. After spending four years insisting that all his team selections were based solely on merit, P-Divvy hit out at current Bok coach Heyneke Meyer this week for not picking enough black players.
Now we're not saying that we agree with all of Meyer's choices but for PDV to insinuate that his successor is a racist is a massive call that smacks of sour grapes. It seems pretty clear to all that Meyer picks the players he thinks are right for the job whether they are black, white or blue. Especially blue.
This is an extract from our free weekly newsletter, The Crooked Feed. To read more and stand in line to win lots of weekly prizes, subscribe by clicking HERE.