Players, SARU at loggerheads
Cape Town - A dispute over the allocation of money towards Springbok rugby players is threatening to disrupt the team's preparations ahead of the England series in June.
newspaper reports that the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and the South African Rugby Players Association (SARPA) have been at loggerheads, with the players unhappy that too big a portion of the money allocated to the national team will be held back by their provincial unions.
Negotiations to try and resolve the issue were held between SARU and SARPA but an agreement could not be reached.
Springboks Jean de Villiers and Schalk Burger
defended the players' interests.
The case will now be resolved by an arbitrator.
Beeld was told that SA's five Super franchises (unions), unlike in previous years, decided they will keep a portion of the money they'll receive from SARU and will not allocate the full amount to their Springbok players - this supposedly to compensate them for the times they won't have the services of their Boks.
But the players are apparently unhappy with this and believe the full amount should be allocated to them.
SARU CEO Jurie Roux
was understandably upset, especially with a Springbok series against England looming for new coach Heyneke Meyer
, but he's nevertheless confident the issue will be resolved before the England series.
SARPA CEO Piet Heymans said the total amount of money allocated is not the issue.
"It's about how it will be distributed. We agreed on the total amount, but not the way the money will be allocated. We (the players) thus do not want more, just a shift in how it will be allocated."
SARPA was founded in 1998 as a union which negotiates on behalf of professional rugby players in South Africa.
It represents the players’ rights at SARU as well as playing a leading role in significant issues like insurance, medical aid and life skills for young up and coming players.
Sharks hooker Bismarck du Plessis is the current president of SARPA, with Bulls hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle