Joel: SA rugby set up to fail

Former World Cup-winning Bok flyhalf Joel Stransky says wholesale change is needed to address South African rugby's problems that run from 'grassroots level to the top'.

Stransky is one of the latest former players to speak out after the Springboks suffered their heaviest defeat at home against the All Blacks last weekend, which saw them ultimately finish third in the Rugby Championship.

In a season where the Boks also lost to Ireland at home for the first time, and succumbed to a first-ever defeat to the Pumas in Argentina, there is increasing concern around the state of the game in South Africa.

In an interview with Reuters, Stransky suggested that the issues ran deep and that there was no quick fix.

'You cannot look at 2016 in isolation, it is a problem that has been coming for some time and you need to look at the game holistically from grassroots level to the top. The kids coming out of school do not have the same skill set as in other countries, or are as well coached. The education system plays a major role in that.  

'The next level is where the system really fails, from South African Rugby down. The [14] unions are not focused on the Springboks being the best team in the world, they are focused on winning the Currie Cup, winning promotion to the Premier Division or succeeding in Super Rugby.'

Stransky also questioned the quality of coaching at domestic level.

'To be frank, in some instances we have got a bunch of inexperienced, amateur coaches leading our top domestic sides. There appears to be no long-term plan, no mentorship and little goes into improving coaching structures. Something needs to change.'

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Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

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Craig Lewis