Saru reallocates academy funding

Saru is redirecting its funding of the work related to rugby academies in the Eastern and Western Cape after revisiting the business model in place, writes CRAIG LEWIS.

It was reported in Business Day on Thursday that Saru would be withdrawing funding from the academy based in Port Elizabeth after this year. That academy is one of four that were set up in conjunction with Lotto a couple of years ago, with the aim of developing talent in an area where a number of exciting young black players continue to be unearthed.

Besides the EP academy, the Boland, South Western Districts and Boland academies have been set up across the Cape.

A spokesman from Saru clarified the redistribution of academy funding that will be taking place, stating that it would be reallocated to support academy players rather than the infrastructure.

‘We have revisited the business model of the academies following the conclusion of funding by Lotto, and their work will go on to deliver on our transformation goals, but under a new, more player-centric model.’

There is understandably an invested interest in the rugby structures in the greater East London and Port Elizabeth region, which is where the Kings are able to draw their player resources from.

The Kings will return to Vodacom Super Rugby in an expanded competition next year, and their ability to compete, and the composition of their squad, is sure to come under intense scrutiny.

EP Rugby is currently dealing with issues related to the non-payment of players’ wages, which has also seen the South African Rugby Players Association taking part in ongoing discussions to try and address various concerns.

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