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Springbok's World Cup Preparations Hit With Fresh Racism Row

Springbok's World Cup Preparations Hit With Fresh Racism Row
Conor O'Leary
By Conor O'Leary
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Racism is always a sensitive issue - especially in a country with the history of South Africa. With threats that the South Africa Rugby Union are to introduce racial quotas throughout the rugby system; a fresh racism row has surfaced disrupting South African World Cup preparations.

Fresh from an embarrassing loss at home to Argentina at the weekend that brought their fourth loss on the bounce - a number of black and white players have approached the SARU to complain about the lack of transformation of the national team.

The Springboks slipped to fifth in the world rankings after a 37-25 loss to Argentina, where just two non-white players - Tendai Mtwarira and Bryan Habana started whilst Siya Kolisi, Lwazi Mvovo, and Trevor Nyakane were on the bench.

The Western Cape regional secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) Tony Ehrenreich said that the federation believed the team that played was based on "racist choices".

Clearly the rugby mafia and the white establishment are excluding black players and playing white players out of position so that they can make place for them in the team. And the team is performing lousy.

Based on last weekend's team - Jesse Kriel - a fullback at club level, or an outside centre in his previous international caps, made his third test appearance at a new position of wing, ahead of Lwazi Mvovo on the bench.

South Africa hadn't lost four games in a row, or finished bottom of the Rugby Championship before. As well as slipping to their worst world ranking ever, there is no real calls of pressure mounting on their head coach Heyneke Meyer:


We are insisting that Heyneke Meyer is clearly inappropriate and we need a radical rethink in South African rugby if we are going to do well in the upcoming World Cup.

When coach [Peter] De Villiers [South African rugby’s first black national coach] led the team, the white establishment was quick to criticise him, yet there is a deafening silence now.

There is a white cabal which still tries to control the rugby team and who gets to play in it. They must be told in no uncertain terms that this Springbok team belongs to all South Africans and should reflect all South Africans.


The Springboks have already announced their team to face Argentina in this weekend's RWC warm up game, that features four non-whites in the first XV, with Tendai Mtwarira on the bench. Jesse Kriel moves back into the centre, with Mvovo coming into the team.

The proposed racial quotas would mean that there must be at least seven non-whites would be in any 23-man matchday squad, with at least 50% for all teams by 2019. Just 8.4% of the population of South Africa are white.

South Africa Team To Play Argentina:


15. Zane Kirchner
14. Lwazi Mvovo
13. Jesse Kriel
12. Damian de Allende
11. Bryan Habana
10. Pat Lambie
9. Ruan Pienaar
8. Schalk Burger
7. Willem Alberts
6. Heinrich Brüssow
5. Victor Matfield (c)
4. Eben Etzebeth
3. Marcel van der Merwe
2. Adriaan Strauss
1. Trevor Nyakane


16. Schalk Brits
17. Tendai Mtawarira
18. Frans Malherbe
19. Flip van der Merwe
20. Pieter-Steph du Toit
21. Cobus Reinach
22. Handré Pollard
23. Jan Serfontein


[Irish Times]

See Also: Stephen Jones Questions The World Rankings As Ireland Make A Rise

Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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