Sunday, 24 August 2008

Political Implications

What made me write this post? Read this.

I know many (of the few) who read this Blog knows nothing about Rugby. Those who do also know that South African Rugby is a messed up world of politics.

South Africa won the World Cup last year. Our couch that got use there was one of the most successful coaches ever. His contract was set to expire at the end of the World Cup. He did not actually re-apply, but neither was he asked to re-apply. Why would that be? Very successful and current, VERY current holder of the biggest prize in the sport, and you don't ask him to extend his contract? It does not matter if he wants to or not, SHOULD YOU NOT AT LEAST ASK HIM?!

I am sure I am not the only one to think this was a ploy to give South Africa it's first non-white coach. If Jake White was to re-apply, then how would they be able to justify employing De Villiers as the new coach? De Villiers' credentials were not that bad. He was the coach for one of the lower lever national teams, but he was not fresh of the WORLD CUP VICTORY, was he? He did not make South Africa arguably the strongest team in the world, did he now?

De Villiers was destined to get the job because "it was time to get a non-white in there". At teh start of the international season the Boks had a few games against smaller teams where thy only really impressed on pure quality. De Viliers failed to impress anyone with his coaching, however. The team played well, but did not show teh structure that they would need agains the stronger teams of the world. The real test would be, arguably the second most important compitition in the world, the Tri Nations. We lost the first match badly, we managed to beat the All Black at the second go and then lost to the Auzzies. All of the losses were attributed to lack of structure and direction, something you get from the coach.

We are just busy with our home games for this competition. We lost to New Zealand last week and to Australia last night. The problem is not so much the loosing. These three teams are all very strong and, on the day, anyone can beat anyone. The problem is with the way we lost. In every match the players dont seem to know what comes next. This is because players who are not up to the international standard are being selected, and the team as a whole has no plan. These two very important things come from the management, the coaching staff, the coach himself.

We, the current World Champions will now finish third out of three teams in the Tri Nation, not due to lack of ability, but due to the lack of coaching. We just HAD to have a non-white coach for a South African National team, dispite people saying that he was not up to the task.

I don't know about you, but I define racism as making irrational decisions based on someone race. Saying someone should not wear a certain colour because they are white or black is not racist, it is practical and rational. Picking a National Team coach based on race instead of ability seems a bit irrational though.

I know some people will say that we HAVE to try and force the issue, but Rugby does not work that way. It is a game that requires money. The black players in South Africa, and there are many now, had to go to schools with grass pitches. You can't play rugby on anything else. Grass requires money in this dry country. Then you need to be seen by a decent team. You don't arrive at university and decide to play a game you have never seen before and expect to put people with ten yeas experience behind them out of the team, do you? You need to work your way up, just like the white players do. If you look at the provincial teams then you will see all the black players there already. They went thought the system and now have the years behind them. Quite a few of them have made it in to the national team based in merit, not colour. NON of them walked in expecting to be picked because they are not white.

The same will go for a coach. You have to get the experience. You have to work your way up, and most of all you have to prove you are the best. If you are not the best, then how can you expect to get the top job as national coach instead of the person who is the actually best?

Things like this is why I have little love for my country. We are not allowed to be racist, when you are white. It is perfectly OK to force someone in to a job based on their colour, as long as they are not white. Every year there are talks of brining in rules to force rugby teams to have a certain number of non-white players. I am still waiting for the rule that says the football(soccer) teams must have a set number of white players. Why is no one even mentioning that one?

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