Mark Keohane, writing for IOL Sport, speaks of how SA Rugby needs to follow the route of the Proteas when it comes to transformation.
Transformation is not specific to an occasion in South African sport but a way of life – and a very good way of life.
Why the continued bleating about transformation? Why does the voice of a white minority always carry such weight when assessed against the plight of a majority?
South Africa’s cultural diversity is a strength and in a sporting context, no national team reflects this multicultural magnificence more than the Proteas cricket side that crushed Pakistan 3-0 in the summer Test series.
The Proteas, in team make-up and balance, speak to every South African. When the minority mouths off about how transformation is destroying South African sport, there is very little factually to support the emotional outburst.
A few years ago the Proteas beat Australia 5-0 in a home one-day series. No country, in the history of Australian cricket, had ever beaten them 5-0 in this format of the game. There were eight players of colour in the Proteas team of eleven.
Call it quotas, call it whatever you want, but without the enforced selection policy in South African domestic cricket, the national team would not be the transformed world-beaters of today.
The Proteas are ranked second in Test cricket and, over the past five years, have been top of the Test and ODI rankings. They’ve done this with a transformed squad whose selections were because of performance.
Rugby must follow cricket’s transformation blueprint and enforce a quota selection policy in Super Rugby and domestic rugby. Springbok rugby can never realistically meet the national team transformation target of 50% if three of the four Super Rugby franchises have never got anywhere near 50%