Saru needs to state exactly what it wants
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.