The Star Late Edition

Provinces miss transforma­tion targets

- ASHFAK MOHAMED ashfak.mohamed@inl.co.za

SA Rugby president Mark Alexander has questioned the lack of transforma­tion in senior franchise and provincial teams after only a handful of unions managed to achieve their targets last season.

Most of the provinces who competed in the 2020 Super

Rugby or PRO14 season, Super

Rugby Unlocked and Currie Cup failed to achieve the desired 45% representa­tion for “generic black” players, and 22% for “black African” players.

In fact, only the KwaZulu-Natal and Western Province unions reached the 45% generic black target, with only KZN and Eastern Province attaining the 22% black African mark.

With the generic black target, there were obviously better results, although it was still short of the required totals.

In the early 2020 Super Rugby tournament, which was called off in March due to Covid-19, as well as the PRO14 contested by the Cheetahs and Southern Kings, the statistics were: Bulls 33%, Eastern Province/Southern Kings 34%, Free State 26%, Golden Lions 33%, KZN/ Sharks 42% and Western Province/ Stormers 46%.

In Super Rugby Unlocked, the data was: Bulls 35%, Cheetahs 26%, Lions 32%, Griquas 38%, Sharks 56%, Pumas 28% and Stormers 48%.

In the Currie Cup, it was: Blue Bulls 30%, Free State Cheetahs 32%, Golden Lions 26%, Griquas 33%, Sharks 62%, Pumas 36% and WP 46%.

The black African statistics were markedly poorer. In Super Rugby/ PRO14 it was: Bulls 11%, Southern Kings 22%, Cheetahs 15%, Lions 19%, Sharks 34% and Stormers 12%.

In Super Rugby Unlocked: Bulls 10%, Cheetahs 13%, Lions 20%, Griquas 19%, Sharks 37%, Pumas 16% and WP 14%.

In the Currie Cup: Bulls 11%,

Free State Cheetahs 19%, Golden Lions 16%, Griquas 16%, Sharks 44%, Pumas 19% and WP 15%.

In the SA Rugby annual report tabled this week, Alexander said: “When the success of transforma­tion is determined by budget allocation, one must ask the question whether it is a symptom of a system that has not changed at its core.

“If the statistics are correct, we have a shrinking coloured and white-player base in our country, and if we fail to attract the rest of the population groupings to our sport, we will have a small pool of players on which to draw.

“Transforma­tion asks for our business to be done differentl­y; it is a process of fundamenta­lly restructur­ing the very basis of our business with different priorities, and the reallocati­on of current resources that will contribute to a conscious, deliberate, planned, and goaldirect­ed change, with the sustainabl­e growth of rugby being at the heart of it.”

SA Rugby said in their report that they “acknowledg­e work needs to be done at profession­al and developmen­tal level” with contractin­g of players at provincial level to be successful with their

2030 Strategic Transforma­tion Developmen­t Plan.

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