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Crisis ahead as South African teams fail to meet 'racial quotas' - warns rugby chief

By Chris Jones
Clayton Blommetjies /Getty

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South African Rugby president Mark Alexander has warned the sport could face a player crisis unless the lack of transformation at provincial level is addressed after only three unions managed to achieve the set targets last season.

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Alexander’s warning comes against a backdrop of leading players opting out of domestic rugby in South Africa to take up contracts with clubs in Europe and Japan.

According to a report on IOL, the majority of the local franchises and provinces who participated in last year’s Super Rugby, PRO14, Super Rugby Unlocked and Currie Cup had failed to achieve the set 45 per cent representation for ‘generic black’ players and 22 per cent for ‘black African’ players; with only the KwaZulu-Natal and Western Province Rugby Unions reaching the generic black target and only KZN and Eastern Province exceeding black African target.

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In a new series of short films, RugbyPass shares unique stories from iconic British and Irish Lions tours to South Africa in proud partnership with The Famous Grouse, the Spirit of Rugby.
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In a new series of short films, RugbyPass shares unique stories from iconic British and Irish Lions tours to South Africa in proud partnership with The Famous Grouse, the Spirit of Rugby.

In the SA Rugby annual report tabled this week, Alexander said: ‘‘If the statistics are correct, we have a shrinking coloured and white player base in our country, and if we fail to attract the rest of the population group­ings to our sport, we will have a small pool of players on which to draw.

“When the success of transformation is determined by budget allocation, one must, unfortunately, ask the question whether it is a symp­tom of a system that has not changed at its core.

“Transformation asks for our busi­ness to be done differently; it is a process of fundamentally restructuring the very basis of our business with different priorities, and the reallocation of current resources that will con­tribute to a conscious, deliber­ate, planned, and goal-directed change with the sustainable growth of rugby being at the heart of it.

“The enabler is not necessarily more money, but rather how we differently use the monetary re­sources that we have, smarter and more effectively,” stated Alexander.

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