Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Last gasp effort…for a while that is.

With the excitement surrounding the Rugby World Cup reaching a crescendo, one has to take a step back and see how important this world cup actually is for South African rugby and its supporters.

As noted by our other columnist, Mr. Vaughn, down below, South African rugby is bracing itself for a multitude of changes which could impact heavily on the game in the country. Changes are on the cards so that for one, SA Rugby PTY (Ltd) can compete on the world market in terms of keeping its players involved in domestic and international competitions. And secondly the notion of transformation is addressed once and for all. This article is not about these two topics but about how these two topics can hinder our chances of challenging at the next rugby world cup in New Zealand in 2011.

If SA Rugby is going to stick to their guns and not allow players playing overseas to play for South Africa then our player base is going to be substantially weaker at an international level in the upcoming years. The strength of the pound and wealth of the French are going to continually lure SA players to play in those respective leagues and SA rugby can do nothing about it. Furthermore if what Mr. Stofile says is true and that by the next world cup the Springboks will field more than 7 black players in the side then that team is not going to be of a class that can win the Web Ellis trophy 4 years down the line.

Picture it…a Springbok team without any of its overseas stars. A team sporting over 7 black players with little or no Super 14 or Currie Cup experience. Is this a team that can compete with the likes of the All Blacks and the Wallabies? I unfortunately think not.

The current squad has been molded together over the years by coach Jake White. It really does seem that this is our best chance yet to win the tournament in France. So when you are having your Castle and watching the Boks challenge in September, saver the moment because 4 years down the line things could be a bit different. Who knows maybe by 2015 things will look up again?

No comments: