A mixed reaction have followed with the Springbok touring squad that was announced this week by Allister Coetzee.
Coetzee decided to send youngster Curwin Bosch back to his union and included Handre Pollard in his place as backup for Jantjies and also a midfield option when we take on the Aussies and All Blacks in the coming two weeks.
Coetzee also included Ross Cronje and Dillian Leyds in his touring squad.
It was a tweet from our good friend Rob Otto (Sharksworld) that spark the debate.
Handre Pollard is the living embodiment of white Afrikaner privilege that still predominates in SA rugby.— Rob Otto@Sharksworld (@sharksworld) August 29, 2017
Pollard who has been out of competitive rugby for years and not months have not shown that he is fit and match ready to take the field. In right respect
Pollard last played for the Springboks at International level on the 30 October 2015 against Argentina in the World Cup. He has been injured for the whole of 2016 and almost the whole of 2017 as well.
He has not played for the Blue Bulls for more than two years at Currie Cup level and although he was picked for the SA”A” side he never played also due to injury.
Coetzee has explained to News24″Sometimes people wonder why he hasn’t played Currie Cup, but our intensity at which we train, is more than match intensity,” Coetzee said at Cape Town International Airport after arriving back from Argentina on Tuesday.
“The way he has responded gives me a lot of confidence to select him.” Coetzee believes that Pollard is 100% fit and ready for selection.
“Handre has made tremendous strides since he joined us in Stellenbosch and then for the two weeks in PE,” Coetzee added. “I was tempted to select him then, but I thought another week with regard to his extra conditioning work, kicking out of hand and kicking at poles would be better.”
The question then is why did Jantjies had to proof himself but Pollard walk into the national side after not playing for them for more than two years. Jantjies has been the best 10 in South Africa for more than three years and had to fight all the way to secure his position as the number 1 ten in the country.
Then one can understand why people are starting to using words like “Whites, Afrikaner and privilege few“
We just had the Springboks played in a red jersey to mark 25 years of unity but how much unity do we really have in rugby today?
Statements and questions like Rob mentioned on social media will never go away if we do not tackle these issues head-on.
It does not really matter how we feel about the transformation processes or the way Government stick their noses into the game, we need to get to a point where we stop asking these questions and start making sure transformation and white afrikaner privilege becomes part of our history and not the way we manage our game 25 years after unity.