It must be tough being a token Springbok player

SARU

It’s now customary that, on the eve of the Rugby World Cup, there should be a hullabaloo about poor transformation or lack thereof. Conveniently, those who have taken a backseat in matters transformation after the previous tournament capitalise on the opportunity to score some political brownie points. They make noise about lack of black players selected in the national team, almost sounding the unequivocal warning: “Choose a black player or else?” .Then, reluctantly, the incumbent Springbok coach is strong-armed into selecting a few token black faces into his squad to please the public.

The main victims in the whole selection saga are black players themselves. It must be hard to feel being part of a squad merely to fill political quotas not on one’s ability. “It merit were the yardstick I won’t have been here.”

As bureaucrats like to say: Transformation is not a top-bottom initiative, but a bottom-top initiative.”  In layman’s terms, it should be approached like soccer, from the grassroots in townships and rural areas.” But, the question is: are black youngsters more interested in becoming the next Bryan Habana than Lionel Messi?

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