WP team too white - Wakefield
Cape Town – The vice-president of the Western Province Rugby Union Thelo Wakefield says too few players of colour are included in the WP Currie Cup side and drastic action needs to be taken to rectify the situation.
According to Wakefield, the Western Province Rugby Union had a meeting with representatives of all the WP clubs at Newlands last week where they expressed their unhappiness with the current composition of the WP side.
“The clubs decided that enough is enough and the current state of affairs cannot be tolerated,” says Wakefield.
“There are 95 clubs in WP who are predominantly made up of players of colour. The clubs decided that the current situation is unacceptable. They are unhappy that players of colour are deemed good enough to play at junior age group levels, but are not given enough opportunities to prove themselves at Currie Cup and Super Rugby level.”
Wakefield says that he will work his fingers to the bone so that the criticism over the composition of the team does not fall on deaf ears.
“I have an appointment with WP coach Allister Coetzee on Monday where he will have to explain the current state of affairs.
“There is also a document compiled by the clubs that I sent to the CEO of WP Rugby Rob Wagner. I want to discuss the matter with both of them and if they don’t want to listen, they will have to be prepared to take the criticism,” he warned.
The WP Currie Cup side that beat the Blue Bulls 35-7 on Saturday included only three players of colour, Conrad Jantjes, Siya Kolisi and Hilton Lobberts in the starting line-up, while Marcel Brache and Berton Klaasen were included on the bench.
“I worked out that since the start of this year’s Currie Cup campaign the WP side only included on average only 22% players of colour.
“I am not going to prescribe to the coach who he has to pick in the side, but I will lie if I say I am satisfied with the current situation.
The current state of affairs also does not make the team very popular with the public. The side has to be more representative so that there will be more role models. The players also cannot just be chosen from one or two clubs,” he added.