‘White players want Boks to fail’

Cosatu says there is a group of white Springbok players who are trying to sabotage the team.

The Boks lost 26-20 to Ireland at Newlands, in coach Allister Coetzee's first match in charge, before fighting back from 26-10 down after 60 minutes at Ellis Park to win the second Test 32-26.

In a press release, the trade union suggested that some of the white players were to blame for the poor performances.

'Members of the Springboks who had previously approached Cosatu to look into the lack of transformation have signalled that there is a group of white players who want to see this integrated team and coach fail. This may be behind the bad performance of some of the players in the last two Tests.

'We should never underestimate the attitude of some rugby players and supporters, who are not supportive of this Springbok team and this transformation agenda. These players who sabotage the performance of the Springboks must be investigated and removed from the Springbok set-up.

'The coach must also not relent to the pressures on him; we stand and fall by a representative Springbok team that has all our players included. The days of reserving some positions for some white players must be gone forever and we must also not include foreign players any longer. We have enough talent in the country to put together great teams that can win our country the matches.'

Cosatu added that rugby should be broadcast on SABC. Currently home Bok Tests are shown 'delayed live' on SABC from 5pm after being broadcast live on SuperSport from 5pm.

'[Cosatu wants to see] an end to the domination of M-Net of rugby broadcasting and that matches should be shifted to SABC channels or shown during open time on M-Net, whose monopoly in South Africa is part of the old apartheid-linked companies' state capture. Rugby commentators should reflect the new South Africa and the black commentators defended against M-Net, while the old white commentators should be replaced by younger white commentators, as these old commentators still demonstrate apartheid prejudices.'

Cosatu said more could also be done to transform the game.

'The referees and transformation funding and support leaves much to be desired and we want to see more urgency in all the junior areas, including schools and black clubs. The sponsors and businesses linked to SA Rugby also need to be reviewed, so all communities get opportunities and not only the old white boys club.'

Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

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Simon Borchardt