We all know, the Springbok is a wounded animal, dying a slow and painful death. But what if the Springbok could be saved? What can be done to rescue this once proud and beautiful animal? Below we will dissect what is wrong with the Springboks and what can / should be done to restore the Springboks and South Africa rugby to the powerhouse it once was.
Quotas The Primary Reason Behind Poor Springbok Performance
1. Coaching Staff
Everyone knows the appointment of Allister Coetzee was a controversial one, to say the least, an appointment made on skin colour rather than merit. The latter is not speculation but a FACT with former SARU president, Oregan Hoskins, admitting that much– during an interview with EWN, Hoskins admitted the decision to appoint Coetzee as head coach was because of transformation rather than competence.
The appointment of backline coach Mzwandile Stick, was made before the head coach was even appointed (Welcome to SA Rugby 2016), which was yet another appointment made on racial grounds rather than competence. Thus, in the coaching booth, you have a head coach and an assistant coach who are in charge not because they are the best at what they do, but rather because of their skin colour.
In case you wondered what Mzwandile Sticks’s resume looks like…here it is:
Mzwandile Stick Resume
|2013||Easter Province 2013 (assistant)|
|2014-2015||EP Kings, Vodacom Cup (head coach)|
|2016||Kings (assistant coach)|
Let us compare Sticks resume to that of, another assistant coach, Swyss De Bruyn current backline coach for the Lions Super Rugby team:
Swyss De Bruyn Resume
|1996-97||Sharks U21 (Head Coach)|
|1998||Natal, Currie Cup (Head Coach)|
|1998-2003||Griquas, Currie Cup (Head Coach)|
|2001||South Africa U21, Baby Boks (Head Coach)|
|2004-2012||Sharks (Academy Head coach; U19 / U21 Skills Coach)|
|2013-Current||Lions (Assistant Coach / Backline Coach)|
Now the question needs to be asked, how did an individual. Like Mzwandile Stick, with so little experience, and such a disgraceful record, get the position of South African, assistant coach…? When we can clearly see there are more competent and experienced coaches — we all know the answer…it is because of his skin colour, and that dear readers and IRB (a.k.a world rugby) is racial discrimination in its purest form!
There is not single argument which can be made to justify the selection of Mzwandile Stick as assistant coach (If you can find one please let us know)
With the above being taken into consideration let us forget (for a brief moment) about the racial appointments and examine the ability of the current coaching staff based on their skill and ability.
Coetzee and Stick are in direct contrast with each other, Coetzee is trying to play his conservative, yet outdated, game plan, while Stick is trying to please the public with running rugby, but failing miserably in the process.
The result? An incomprehensible, game plan making no sense, leaving even the most loyal of Springbok supporters scratching their heads.
To those saying quotas are not to blame for the current state of South African rugby, we say open your bloody eyes man, the appointment of the coaching staff is having a direct influence on the Springbok performance, and that is just the tip of the iceberg, we haven’t even touched on team selection.
The Rugby World Cup is 3-years away, at the time of writing, get rid of the current coaching regime IMMEDIATELY, there is still more than enough time for a regime change. Allowing a competent coach to build up a strong squad.
If we were SARU executives… we would throw so much money at Jake White and Nick Mallet that they cannot resist the offer.
Jake White would be ideal as head coach, say what you want about the man but, he is a specialist in picking up broken squads and rebuilding them into championship teams, something which he has done throughout his career.
With that being said Johan Ackermann and Swyss would also make an awesome duo in the coaching booth…but unfortunately, we are not SARU executives and the above-mentioned coaches are not of the right skin colour.
2. Player Exodus
Did anyone notice, the sudden lack of depth in South African rugby? While not too long ago players were lining up to fill positions at national level, suddenly South African rugby seems to have no depth in key positions…players are disappearing, left, right and centre. We are experiencing a mass exodus of South African rugby players, a kind of brain drain– similar to what South Africa experienced in the early 2000s, when hordes of skilled professionals left the country.
Why are these players leaving South African rugby? Again the DIRECT answer can be traced back to quotas. If you are a young, up and coming Caucasian player, the reality is your chances of getting into the Vodacom cup or Super Rugby tournament is extremely slim.
You will likely get overlooked for a player of darker skin, with the selection of Stick serving as proof! Now why would you take a gamble on your career when you can get so much more opportunities in the northern hemisphere….?
Many will say money is the primary reason for the exodus, rather than quotas, with South African franchises simply unable to compete with the big European clubs because of the £/R exchange rate…while that may be true, the primary reason for the big deficit in the exchange rate can again be traced back DIRECTLY to quotas or rather in this case BBBEE.
While this is a sport website, we will not discuss politics but we will make the statement that quotas, known as BBBEE in the business world, is a primary contributor to the big deficit in the exchange rates, with incompetent individuals filling key positions simply because of their skin colour…
How do you stop the mass exodus of South African rugby players…? Firstly, get rid of quotas in South African rugby, ensure each and every player has a fair chance to get selected, that should be enough to plug the hole for the time being.
Secondly, you would have to address the problem of money, with the Northern Hemisphere offering much more lucrative packages, South African rugby would need to find a way to compete for players in terms of salary.
We are of firm belief, should quotas get scrapped and competence get favoured over colour, South African rugby will improve. If SA Rugby improves it will naturally lead to more spectators / viewers, which in turn will lead to more lucrative sponsors, and that sponsorship money can be used to offer bigger packages to players.
Furthermore, SARU’s budget needs to be examined, there are extraordinary amounts of money getting wasted, like bailing out a failing Kings Franchise, all that money could be better utilised by keeping players in the country.
3. Political Correctness
The primary reason why the Sport Freak started was to counter the political correctness the South African media is trying to portray; a perfect portrait of a rainbow nation…which it is not! Every game will get analysed and discussed, by the media, yet the root underlying cause which is simply a 4-letter word will never get mentioned, or in the rare case that it does get mentioned, it will be strongly denied that it is damaging South African rugby.
On TV, Super Sport portrays the beautiful image of black and white, having a panel of experts more colourful than a smarty box. Publications like SA Rugby Magazine, will post, news and “expert analysis” on a daily basis but they will never address the issue of quotas, despite the public outcry over quotas, those comments on their Facebook page will simply get ignored,
Until the media starts exposing the damming effect racial selections has on South African rugby, quotas will remain in place. We need the media together with the public (yes you reading this) to start talking about quotas, to spread the word about racial discrimination, to get World Rugby to boycott South Africa by breaking by-law 3, put as much pressure on SARU, squeeze them until they give in and scrap their discriminatory policies.
Since the selection of the current South African coaching group was racially biased, and it is clear that the best candidates for the job were not selected, we are starting a petition calling for the immediate resignation of both Coetzee and Stick, we ask that you sign the petition which will get directly e-mailed to SARU executives, contact details can be viewed here.
The Email petition is now closed. We have reached our goal of 5000 signatures which was forwarded to both the South African Rugby Union & World Rugby (IRB). Thank YOU for making a difference! We will now continue to follow up and push the above named entities for a response and will keep you posted regarding any new developments.