SA Rugby president Mark Alexander says the governing body is unsatisfied with the makeup of the coaching staff of South Africa’s Vodacom Super Rugby franchises.
As it stands, none of the South African franchises have coaching staff headed up by a black head coach.
The Lions, who recently officially confirmed their Super Rugby coaching staff to be led by Ivan van Rooyen, have no black coaches. This is despite the union once having the services of Joey Mongalo, who was acquitted on a charge of sexual assault after an appeal.
Very much the same goes for the Vodacom Bulls, who will again be coached by Pote Human this year.
Meanwhile, the Sharks last year confirmed that former SA Schools A coach Phiwe Nomlomo had joined the union as a skills coach. The Stormers have Rito Hlungwani (forwards) and Hanyani Shimange (scrum) in their coaching set-up.
Speaking at the announcement of the new Springbok head coach, Alexander said that more pressure would be applied to the franchises to give black coaches an opportunity.
‘We’re not happy with the makeup of the franchise coaching teams, even though I’m happy with the look of the Springbok coaching group,’ Alexander said. ‘All the coaches that have come through, they’re from our system.
‘We have to put pressure on our PRO14 and Super Rugby franchises because they’re not bringing through the coaches.’
SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus admits that the lack of transformation at franchise level affects what they can do at Test level.
‘We would like to see more coaches of colour coming through, but we unfortunately don’t have control over that, just like we can’t tell them who to appoint as chief executive officer. They run their own franchises.
‘I know, when speaking to the coaches at the franchises, with the Sharks being an example, they’re really committed to transformation but I agree with you when you say the head coaches don’t currently reflect transformation. That does make it tough for us to get guys into the national set-up because the pipeline is slightly messed up.’
Erasmus did add that SA Rugby was actively looking to give opportunities to black coaches and have often graduated these coaches once they perform at a provincial level.
Every single coach who has been pushed through to Super Rugby level, SA Rugby has used. When former Bok coach Allister Coetzee made it to Super Rugby level, SA Rugby took him up and used him. When Deon Davids was pushed up to Super Rugby, SA Rugby took him and used him as a coach.
‘When Mzwandile Stick did relatively well with Eastern Province U19, SA rugby took him into the system and used him. When a Super Rugby franchise delivered a coach of colour at the highest level, SA Rugby has taken them up and used them. There’s many other examples like the SA Schools coaches, who are now used by the franchises.’
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