South-Africa since becoming a democratic country in the mid 90′s have been on a mission to transform sport, some race groups were disadvantaged prior to 1994, in our apartheid era, and it would only be fair to favor these race groups, in the new South-Africa, in order, to even out the past.
The only way this plan of transformation could really work and keep working, was to develop a foundation, and people have been pointing this out for years now, although the rugby administrators didn’t exactly take the same approach, because we wanted immediate results, we rather decided to promote players of colour, (giving the previously disadvantaged, a clear advantage) which is justifiable and understandable. They however never really took into account that rugby was still absent in big parts of the country, and that only certain schools had rugby as an option. leaving potential rugby players of colour, in the same position they were before…opportunityless.
Some questioned whether we’ll ever really have a Springbok team reflecting our country’s demographics. seeing that loose forwards, locks and fly halves of colour are hard to find, and this just shows how much development at ground level is lacking.
how good would a team currently be, if it did reflect our current demographic situation?
I don’t have the exact stats, but a % here or there, shouldn’t make too much of a difference, I’ll include indian or asian , and coloureds to the “players of colour” race group, which then roughly makes up 90% of our population, the other 10% is classified as white. so out of 15, we need 13 players of colour, and out of 22, we need 20. so in the match day squad. injuries were not taken into consideration.
1. Beast Mtawarira – beast is my first choice loose head, with Gurthro in close second, I’ll rather have a tighthead on the bench(if I can find 1) so Gurthro will miss out on selection completely.
2. Chiliboy Ralepelle – with Bandise Maku on the bench, promising young Lions Hooker Edgar Marutlulle is one to watch
3. Brian Mujati – he disappeared off the scene, and I’m not sure if he is suspended, or fit, but without taking that into consideration, he makes his comeback, tighthead is a position where we have few options for this team.
4. Hilton Lobberts – he was the next big thing before he also disappeared , he has been used as a lock at WP where he held up, he is still seen as a strong ball carrier, and useful player in the loose.
5. Victor Matfield -
6. Heinrich Brussow - has been missed this year, and quite a few have tried, but no one could truly fill his boots, lets not even waste time debating his importance in the team
7. Zolani Mofu – I decided against picking Davon Raubenheimer who despite being completely useless when he represented his country in the midweek tour matches last year, is another one of the few options currently playing top flight rugby, Kabamba Floors is probably another option
8. Asley Johnson – has ben impressive in the Currie cup, he has found some form after being out of favor with the Cheetah selectors during the Super14, not sure if it was just because it was the Currie cup
9. Ricky Januarie – showed some good form at the end of the Currie cup, before he picked up an injury.
10. Elton Jantjies – played his first Bok game aginst the barbarians this weekend, and although he didn’t exactly impress, he has talent in abundance , and with a game plan that suits him, he might just be an answer to the Boks’ one dimensional woes…
11. Bryan Habana
12. Juan de Jongh
13. Waylon Murray – Murray and de Jongh should be able to switch between inside and outside centre depending on our defensive and attacking needs.
14. Bjorn Basson
15. Gio Aplon
16. Bandise Maku
17. Buhle Mxunyelwa – can’t think of anyone else
18. Fudge Mabeta – he may be a little light to make any real impact at test level
19. Kabamba Floors – versatile , and certainly an impact player.
20. Heini Adams
21. JP Pietersen / Lwazi Mvovo
22. Elgar Watts – he has been impressive in the Currie cup, Ricardo Croy , Earl Rose, Logan Basson etc. are the other options who can cover FH,
I think it’s safe to say, we are no where near ready to send a “demographically correct” rugby team onto the field to represent our country, this was and probably still is a SARU goal, although supporters have been assured there will be no quota selections, transformation is still an objective, but like most things government organisations try to achieve , they have been found wanting. if the right systems were put in place at ground level as soon as 1995, (15years ago) we would have a huge amount of talented rugby players of colour coming through the ranks, at this very moment. and fielding a team that represented South-Africa’s demographics would be much easier than it currently is.