PdV: ‘Colour not an issue’
25 Aug 2011
Peter de Villiers says colour didn’t matter when he selected his 30-man World Cup squad as he had already played his role in transformation.
Several weeks ago, Saru president Oregan Hoskins lamented the Currie Cup unions for fielding ‘lilly-white’ teams this season. This was after the Sharks played an all-white team against the Bulls while the Cheetahs had only run one non-white player against the Leopards in round one. Hoskins reportedly wrote a letter to all the unions, stating that they should play a bigger part in transformation.
Looking at a Springbok World Cup squad, there hasn’t been much improvement. Former head coach Jake White picked six non-white players in his 30-man squad four years ago. De Villiers, who promised to play more black players ahead of his appointment, has only picked eight non-white players in his 30 for the trip to New Zealand. But the Bok coach stressed that this wasn’t an issue as he did his part in transformation.
‘We transformed this team from a team that wasn’t accessible to the people to the team that is now the people’s team,’ De Villiers said after the squad announcement. ‘I don’t know how many black players there are in the squad, we never sat down and worked that out or decided to pick someone based on the colour of their skin.
‘We wanted South Africans to be proud of the team that is going overseas and we selected the best rugby players in this country, at this moment, in their specific positions. If they are black, they are not to blame for it and if they are white they are not to blame for it either.’