SARU earlier this week announced that a new quota rule will apply in the Vodacom Cup competition from next year.
The citizen’s rights organisation AfriForum has meanwhile sent a letter to Saru and the 14 provincical unions asking Saru to recall the decision to apply race quotas in the Vodacom Cup. Should Saru carry on, AfriForum will launch a boycott action next year.
Several voices – also prominent black voices – were also raised against the Saru decision.
Teams will be forced to field seven players of colour in their 22-man squads, with at least five players in the starting team. At least two of the seven will also have to be among the forwards.
De Villiers, who was the first non-white coach of the Springboks, told the BBC Sport website the system is bound to fail.
“It’s the worst decision they could make. Everybody will believe that these players will be picked because people are looking out for them.”
De Villiers, who is now in charge of rugby at the University of the Western Cape, said he never felt the need for a quota system when he was in charge of the Boks.
“They (SARU) make people believe they care about who is coming through the system – but they only do that to tick some boxes.
“They like to report these things but you don’t see the difference in reality.
“It’s not the first time they have tried to put these things in place and they have never worked.
“It will only ever work if there is a transformation period in people’s hearts.
“If there isn’t I think they are wasting their time.”
Meanwhile, SARU president Oregan Hoskins said they had no other option than to go back to the system as there are now less black players in the professional system than there were when quotas were enforced in the sport in the late 1990s.
“We saw the negatives of that, but we must acknowledge the valid criticism that since the quota system has been scrapped, we have gone backwards in terms of black players in the system. We have to do something drastic to rectify this decline or we would be failing ourselves as a system.
“We will be opening ourselves up to outside intervention. Quotas were scrapped 10 years ago and there was a lot of negativity around the system then. But we have to be brutally honest with ourselves and say that since scrapping quotas, our transformation drive has declined inexplicably and we have to capture that decline. We simply cannot allow it to continue,” said Hoskins.
Sharks management and John Plumtree have decided to part ways – like in right now.
The Sharks confirmed that discussions were held today between representatives of themselves and John Plumtree (“the Parties”).
It was mutually and amicably agreed between the Parties to part ways with immediate effect.
The terms of the agreement concluded between the Parties are confidential.
Stephen Saad, the Chairman of The Sharks said: ” We thank John for his wonderful contribution to Sharks rugby over many years. He has been a loyal and faithful employee and The Sharks have benefitted greatly by his input. We are also grateful for the impeccable manner in which he has conducted himself during challenging times in the last while. We wish John all the best in his future endeavours .”
Outgoing Sharks coach John Plumtree and new CEO John Smit are set meet to resolve the termination of Plumtree’s contract.
Smit recently announced the appointment of Brendan Venter as new Director of Rugby at the Sharks. Plumtree was told his contract would not be renewed and he will step down after the completion of this year’s Super Rugby competition.
According to The Mercury, Plumtree will bring his legal team to the meeting on Tuesday night to argue that he should be paid out for the full two-year contract extension he was promised by the current CEO, Brian Van Zyl.
Van Zyl, who is set to step down as CEO, recently indicated that he wanted the Sharks to keep Plumtree as head coach. Plumtree’s legal team will argue that Van Zyl’s verbal agreement with him is binding.
Meanwhile, former Sharks flank Brad MacLeod-Henderson is the favourite to fill the head coach position of the Durban-based team.
With Venter performing the role of overseeing all coaching proceedings at the union, MacLeod-Henderson is expected to take charge of the Currie Cup team. The 37-year-old is the current Director of Rugby at Hilton College.
He is also the assistant coach of the Sharks Under-21 team. The head coach for that team is Sean Everitt and, in an about turn, he is tipped to be MacLeod-Henderson’s assistant during the Currie Cup.
Sharks’ board has strongly stood behind Smit’s decision to fire Plum.
We recognise too that John may not have all the commercial experience yet. We have a Board and a management team to guide him in these areas. Our advice to John was, listen carefully before acting and at all times be honest and transparent. Recent actions may seem to contradict the advice given. However, the actions taken were not malicious and are explained below.
John Plumtree, who has served The Sharks with both loyalty and much success and, not withstanding that he has a contract until the end of 2013, he needed certainty on his future beyond that. He informed The Sharks that he had been approached with other options to consider and personal issues viz schooling that needed addressing.
The easiest decision and the line of least resistance for John Smit to take would have been to say “He needed time”, he could have delayed his call for months until he was entrenched as CEO.
However, consistent with both his own integrity and the Board’s guidance on Honesty and Transparency, he grasped the nettle and did not opt for the expedient approach. This approach was also in part accelerated by comments attributed to Nick Mallet and then taken to end further destructive speculation.
John Smit, has a vision on how he wants to run The Sharks and the Board cannot ask him as CEO to take accountability and then choose his team for him. These are really tough decisions and are never clean cut. John Smit has had the benefit of playing under both coaches and rates them both highly. The intensity of the debate is a positive reflection of the performance of John Plumtree. John Smit is our chosen leader and a man of substance. He has made his choice and I can only ask Shark supporters to get behind him and the team as our season unfolds.
A further issue, I would like to address is the Liquor Board matter.
Contrary to some public opinion, The Sharks are working actively in trying to reach an acceptable conclusion here. We would like things to remain as they were but we need to act responsibly and acknowledge:
|We have had a tragic death at our stadium.|
|Irresponsible abuse of alcohol is a scourge in our society and it will not be encouraged in our stadium.|
|The Liquor Board has a duty to make sure that the above areas are properly addressed.|
We are engaging with the authorities. We sense your frustration, but given the magnitude of the issues, we cannot promise overnight resolution. We can tell you that the authorities to date, have not been obstructive but driven by a sincere desire to find solutions that address both safety and the need for responsible drinking particularly given the family environment that we wish to retain at KINGS PARK.
Change is always traumatic. There is no easy way to deal with change. However, The Sharks are in a new era. We, the Board, are positive that the changes made, will with the passing of time, be shown to build on the solid platform created at The Sharks.
Thank you for all the support, interest and loyalty, you have demonstrated to The Sharks. John and team, through both their performance and conduct, will endeavor to repay this loyalty to you both on and off the field.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) today announced that 15 players, including exciting youngsters such as Eben Etzebeth, Marcell Coetzee, Juan de Jongh and Pat Lambie and world stars such as Jean de Villiers, Tendai Mtawarira and Bismarck du Plessis, have been awarded Springbok contracts for 2013.
The Southern Kings announced their reduced, 35-man squad for their Super Rugby campaign which still contains 5 foreign players.
The tug-of-war between the Kings and SARU on the number of foreign based players allowed for the franchise has been going since 2012.
The Kings, who only has a 1-year guaranteed deal for participation in Super Rugby (from where a promotion/relegation match will determine the line up for 2014) has argued that in order for them to be competitive SA Rugby needs to make a concession to allow them more foreign players than the current maximum of two allowed per franchise.
SA Rugby in turn has stood by the standard protocol which applies to all franchises which has now seemingly resulted in a Mexican stand-off between the Kings and the governing body.
By announcing their 35-man squad containing 5 foreign based players, the Kings have sent a clear message to SARU that they are not about to budge and that the call is now firmly in SARU’s court.
Should SARU decide not to accept the Kings squad things could get really ugly for both parties a mere two weeks out before the South African conference kicks off.
Now, we wait with bated breath on SARU’s response…
Southern Kings Super Rugby 35 player squad
|Schalk Ferrreira||Shaun Venter|
|Jaco Engels||Johan Herbst|
|Hannes Franklin||Nicolas Vergallo|
|Virgile Lacombe||Demetri Catrakillis|
|Bandise Maku||George Whitehead|
|Edgar Marutlulle||Andries Strauss|
|Kevin Buys||Hadleigh Parkes|
|Grant Kemp||Ronnie Cooke|
|Steven Sykes||Waylon Murray|
|David Bullbring||Michael Killian|
|Darron Nell||Sergeal Petersen|
|Rynier Bernardo||Marcello Sampson|
|Daniel Adongo||Siyanda Grey|
|Wimpie van der Walt||SP Marais|
|Mpho Mbiyozo||Elric van Vuuren|
|Cornell du Preez|
|Luke Watson (Captain)|
Kings Statement on squad and 5 foreign players
Following the announcement of the wider squad of 35 players earlier today, there have been a number of media queries relating to the fact that all five foreign players are still listed in the squad.
Please note the following, to be attributed to Eastern Province Rugby President, Cheeky Watson.
The squad announced today is the wider squad that has been requested by SANZAR, and which had to be submitted to them ahead of the official start of the season, in line with their tournament rules and regulations.
This squad could be reduced further in due course.