Cash, quotas ruining rugby
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Those were the views expressed by Springbok legends Mannetjies Roux and Hannes Marais during a function in Springs on the East Rand on Wednesday night.
The function was in honour of late Springbok and Blue Bulls legends Louis Moolman and Ruben Kruger.
Roux, who retired in 1970, said that money was more important nowadays than rugby itself.
“We weren’t paid to play and could focus on developing our natural talent,” he said.
Marais, who is a former Springbok captain, is involved in the development of schools rugby in the Eastern Cape.
He said that systems should be established to develop talent at schools level.
Marais added that numerous black children at Pearson – the school where he is involved – had talent, but "circumstances are holding them back.”
He said that the involvement of “politicians” had accelerated the process, meaning players of colour are sometimes taken up in national teams too quickly.
“Breyton (Paulse) himself said that you can’t pick someone in a team who does not have potential.”
Marais feels strongly that there should not be a big fuss about quotas.
“Develop the person. The team has to be picked on merit, but players who show potential should be helped to realise that potential.”
Marais also believes money has made a difference to how players approach rugby these days.
“Money has shifted loyalties. We did not have money to take home, but forged friendships on tours. We did not have things like quotas where you were left wondering whether you are in the team on merit or because of your skin colour.”
He also referred to team photographs with players, the coach and assistant coaches.
“These days it seems that the worse the coach, the more people he appoints to make him look good.”