Saru needs to state ex­actly what it wants

CityPress - - Voices -

The next per­son will­ing to take on the per­ilous job of Spring­bok coach should in­sist that the SA Rugby Union (Saru) set out a clear agenda of what will be ex­pected of him.

Be­fore re­mu­ner­a­tion and term du­ra­tion are dis­cussed, the can­di­dates need to ask what Saru wants ex­actly, and re­ceive an un­am­bigu­ous an­swer.

The union needs to list its pri­or­i­ties and, in­stead of hid­ing be­hind the usual PR smoke screen, make these clear to all with an in­ter­est in rugby. Is it to win the rugby World Cup in 2019? Is it to re­turn the Spring­boks to num­ber one in the world?

Or – as Saru pres­i­dent Ore­gan Hoskins said on Fri­day – is it to ad­dress and erad­i­cate the prob­lem of trans­for­ma­tion that for too long has been an al­ba­tross bring­ing down the game?

One of the key com­plaints about Heyneke Meyer’s ten­ure was that he was out of step with the lat­ter pri­or­ity.

He did not se­lect enough black play­ers in his World Cup group, and did not pick them even when he had the chance to do so.

So if trans­for­ma­tion is go­ing to take prece­dence, the new man must be told so and the de­ci­sion must be con­veyed to the pub­lic.

No more must Saru say that “we don’t have a racial quota”, when there clearly is one.

It might mean, as for­mer Saru pres­i­dent Si­las Nka­nunu once re­marked, that if play­ers are of equal qual­ity, the black player should be given prece­dence, but no more should the na­tional coach be forced to tap-dance around the is­sue.

Saru should en­sure that the coach is given all pos­si­ble as­sis­tance in reach­ing his trans­for­ma­tion goals, and stand by him through thick and thin.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.