SARU last month announced a new quota system for next year’s Vodacom Cup competition. Teams will be forced to field seven players of colour in their 22-man squads, with at least five players in the starting team, while at least two of the seven will also have to be among the forwards.
Dobson’s WP side were one of the few teams, along with Boland, Border and SWD who this season already reached SARU’s proposed targets. However, teams like the Pumas, Golden Lions and Griquas were serial transformation offenders, often selecting only two or three players of colour in their match squads.
“I think this new rule is absolutely brilliant,” Dobson said in an interview with the Cape Times. “I think teams in the Vodacom Cup this year tested everybody’s patience. When we played the semi-final against the Lions, they had two players of colour in their team, and the same with Griquas in our quarter-final.
“I think rugby has to be very careful about testing rugby’s administrators and government’s patience if they continue fielding all-white teams, especially at development level. That’s what the Vodacom Cup competition is – it’s about tomorrow’s Springboks today, and if you play a team which has one player of colour, then I can tell that it sat very uncomfortably with WP in the Vodacom Cup playoffs.
“I’m sorry that we have to count to show that we have the high ground at least, but we fielded at least seven or eight players of colour in our match squads.”
Dobson went on to say that he “didn’t like quotas”, but it is necessary if transformation doesn’t occur naturally.
“It is better than having no players of colour in a team. That’s just not possible,” continued Dobson.