• Roux: Unions back transformation plan

    Saru CEO Jurie Roux says the provincial unions will play their part in developing more black players in the buildup to 2019. JON CARDINELLI reports.

    On Tuesday, Roux clarified that Saru will not enforce quotas at Vodacom Super Rugby and national levels. The Saru CEO said the Strategic Transformation Plan is a long-term initiative geared to upskill black players, coaches and administrators over the next four years. He was adamant that the much talked about 50-50 racial makeup is a target and not a quota.

    Roux feels Saru has done a great deal to develop black rugby players at Vodacom Cup and club levels over the past few years. Through various initiatives, Saru aims to track and develop young black players so that a larger percentage makes the transition to Super Rugby and Test levels in future.

    Of course, the unions will need to play their part. If Saru is going to realise their target of a 50-50 representation in 2019, more black players will need to be given opportunities sooner rather than later.

    ‘There has already been an increase at Currie Cup level,’ Roux said. ‘If you look at Western Province last year, they had a 46% [representation of black players] in the Currie Cup final. So we are confident the target [in 2019] can be achieved.

    ‘It’s a collaborative process,’ he added. ‘It’s about working together to achieve that goal. We [Saru] have set the target of 50%, not the government. And if we don’t reach it [in 2019], we will have only ourselves to blame.

    ‘Saru won’t force the unions to implement this plan. But I would like to see which one of them doesn’t. We have a responsibility to transform. Everybody else has agreed to it.’

    Roux: New plan not about quotas

    Photo: Peter Heeger/Gallo Images

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    Jon Cardinelli