Monday, May 14, 2007
South African rugby is finding it's feet again after years of turbulence since sporting and cultural isolation following the Gleneagles agreement, handover of power by the all white National Party government to the black ANC, quotas of players from black communities and political dictat as to whom may play. This was shown this last weekend as the S14 quarter-finalists battled it out in front of 100 000 SA fans.
To sour these sweet victories, the politicians have been at it again. A Springbok squad of 45 was expected to be announced but at the last moment popular Stormers captain Luke Watson was added as player number 46. This was done without Springbok coach Jake White's knowledge.
Watson is considered to be a disruptive player, not a team player and not as good as others in his position by White. Many of the senoir Springboks have expressed the same worries.
What makes this political interference most unusual is that Watson is a white player. However he is very popular with the ANC goverment as his father went against the National Party goverment in the 70's and 80's and illegally went into the black townships to coach rugby to young black kids.