Saru changes policy on Maori

Saru has reversed its policy on the New Zealand Maori meaning fixtures between the Springboks and the Maori could take place in future.

Earlier this year, Saru president Regan Hoskins issued a formal apology to Maori players who were excluded from South African tours during apartheid. A number of Maori players became victims of the racist ideology of South Africa’s former government and were denied an opportunity to represent the All Blacks in South Africa.

This apology came after speculation of a Springboks vs NZ Maori match to mark the latter’s centenary. The match was originally scheduled as part of the Springbok warm-ups ahead of the 2009 British & Irish Lions tour but called off when Saru deemed the Maori a team selected along racial lines which conflicts with the South African constitution.

While the 2009 and 2010 opportunities have passed, there will be an opportunity for a match-up in the near future.

‘Saru held its last General Council meeting for the year on Friday in Newlands. The Council agreed to adopt the policy pertaining to the New Zealand Maori, which now paves the way for matches between South African teams and the Maoris,’ a statement read.

‘South Africa will play against any team which has the official blessing of its national governing body,’ added Hoskins.

Other outcomes of this meeting saw Gary Meyer of the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union elected as an Executive Council member. He replaces Francois Davids who resigned earlier this year.

Saru CEO Jurie Roux was also elected to accompany Hoskins as the Saru representatives to the IRB, while Dawie Groenewald is the new Saru representative to the Confederation of African Rugby.