Tank Lanning

Window dressed black selector

2008-09-05 04:59

Tank Lanning

I am truly appalled and amazed by the disgusting and disturbing news regarding the new Springbok selection panel. President Oregan Hoskins has forced an amendment to Saru's constitution in order to allow the national selection committee to be enlarged to make room for an ethnic black.

How can that possibly happen in this day and age? Are Saru hoping for the black guy to vote for the blacks, the white guy to vote for the whites and the coloured guy to vote for the coloureds? So no chance of them using their brains to vote for the best players, then?

Oh, and of course, one of the three guys on the panel - "Not necessarily the ethnic black" according to Hoskins - will not be entitled to vote. Talk about window dressing! It's akin to the black "alternate director" that companies appoint these days in order to appease the moronic.

Make up the numbers

Do people just not get it? Transformation does not happen at national level! Make a plan for more black players to play in the Super 14 so the national coach and selectors can actually select black players on merit. Don't just add a black face to the selectors and hope...

In an age where the coach has the final say on the match 22, these selectors will really only be fighting about players who make up the numbers in the squad of 30 or more players in any case, but I really hope no one is seeking the limelight enough to apply for this mind-numbing political position.

Oh how I pray for the day when this country will eventually become colour blind, allowing skill and hard work, rather than dastardly political interplay, to determine one's position in life...

No Lions Test in Cape Town

Western Province Rugby Union president, Tobie Titus, in defending the WPRU's decision not to fight for a Lions Test at Newlands next year, said he "would not sell our soul" to the Lions tour organisers. And what exactly would "Selling their souls" entail? Horror of horrors, it meant a guaranteed 11 000 ticket sales to the Lions supporters, no doubt at top dollar.

He went on about how the guaranteed ticket sales would affect stakeholders such as season ticket owners, but anyone who has ever owned a season ticket knows that sometimes certain games are excluded, or offered to said ticket holders at an extra cost.

And as one lifetime grandstand season ticket owner put it to me this week: "I would be happy to be put in the orange seats behind the poles for a Lions Test. At least I would be at a Lions test!"

Market the game

Yes, I am a Capetonian, and of course I would like to see a Lions Test at Newlands for that reason, but please accept that I am aiming to be objective here. But why would you not have a Test at the ground that, together with Kings Park in Durban, regularly attracts the biggest crowds at Super 14 and provincial level? It's ridiculous not to have a Lions Test at Newlands.

If Tests were allocated on a rotational basis only, then there would be no debate. If they were allocated according to tickets sold outside the Test arena, which I believe to be most fair as then the unions that do the work to market the game would be rewarded with Tests, then again there would be no debate.

But for Titus to say that the WPRU did not "fight" for a Lions Test "Because rugby is a business" smacks of ulterior means of Test allocation. And for this reason the WPRU have been left with egg on their faces...

  • Tank is a former WP tighthead prop and now Sport24 editor and the author of the blog, Front Row Grunt.

    Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.


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