Spears coach Peter de Villiers has labelled the decision that has shafted his side from the 2007 Super 14 as one made in ‘fear’, stating that the Spears would be competitive in the southern hemisphere showpiece.
Speaking to keo.co.za from Namibia where the Spears are currently undertaking a tour, De Villiers’ condemnation of the decision taken by the Saru President’s Council was forthright.
“Who knows what their motivation was, but let’s be honest, they’re all just covering for themselves,” De Villiers said. “What gives a guy like (Bulls CEO) Stephan Pretorius the right to say we are not going to be ready? And that attitude is reflected by all the big unions. When have any of them assessed our structures? Fear makes people do and say stupid things.”
De Villiers felt that the Spears’ attitude towards transformation and competitiveness genuinely frightened the current five South African franchises.
“In our last game against Namibian opposition, we had 13 players of colour in our team. I know that scares some unions, because it shows up their total lack of commitment towards transformation.
“People are hiding something, and you won’t get any straightforward opinions from any of them. They are protecting something, and I think it’s pretty obvious that is their own interests and not South African rugby.”
When asked whether the Spears would be ready for the 2007 Vodacom Super 14, De Villiers was adamant that the fledgling franchise would be and by pulling the rug, Saru have acted prematurely.
“When we were only together for two months, the Cats came and played us. Their backline couldn’t run through us once. We ran through them four times. People forget about that.
“We have a squad of players who no-one invested in, and we are now giving the correct structures and support and they are flourishing.
“We are only getting better and I promise you that any day, any damn day, we will do South Africa proud. People say we are not ready, when did they come and watch us? When did they come to evaluate our structures?
“Rugby wise we can stand shoulder to shoulder with any other team in this country.”