Rugby Championship

Tutu wants more black Boks

2014-08-22 13:30
Desmond Tutu (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Springbok rugby team should include more black players, Nobel peace prize laureate and leading anti-apartheid campaigner Desmond Tutu said on Friday.

The widely-respected former Anglican archbishop criticised what he called the "tortoise pace" at which racial integration has taken place in the national team since the end of apartheid 20 years ago.

"Particularly hurtful is the selection of black players as peripheral squad members, never given the chance to settle down and earn their spurs," he said in a letter to the Cape Times.

The straight-talking cleric's words echo a government study published in April that found South African sport remains divided two decades after white minority rule ended.

Rugby and cricket teams had to boost the number of black players threefold to reach the 50 percent representation target, according to the study.

South Africa deserved a Springbok team that was representative of the "full spectrum of the rainbow that defines us - not on the basis of quotas or affirmative action or window-dressing, but on merit and for our long-term well-being as a nation," Tutu said.

He pointed out that under apartheid's racist system Springbok rugby had symbolised the "apartness" between the white minority and the black majority.

"When our liberation came, there were many who said we should never call our team 'Springboks' again, the very name was too painful."

But, he said, former president Nelson Mandela "recognised sport's transformative and healing power, famously embracing our Rugby World Cup winners at Ellis Park in 1995".

"As a society we need to understand that embracing one another is neither a political imperative nor political correctness.

"It is a critical ingredient to affect our long-term healing," Tutu wrote.

On Saturday, the Springboks take on Argentina in Salta in the Rugby Championship.

Their starting XV will include four coloured players (Cornal Hendricks, Damian de Allende, Bryan Habana and Gurthrö Steenkamp), while the remaining 11 are white. Two (Tendai Mtawarira and Lwazi Mvovo) of the eight players on the bench are black.

Kick-off is scheduled for 21:40 (SA time).



15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Juan Martin Hernandez, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo; 8 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 7 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 6 Paul Matera, 5 Thomas Lavanini, 4 Mariano Galarza, 3-Ramiro Herrera 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Marcos Ayerza

Substitutes: 16 Matias Cortese, 17 Bruno Postiglioni, 18 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Leonardo Senatore, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 23 Horacio Agulla

South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Damian de Allende, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (vice-captain), 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Morné Steyn, 23 Lwazi Mvovo


Rona signs for Waratahs

2017-12-18 17:45

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Saturday, 18 August 2018
South Africa v Argentina, Durban 00:00
Saturday, 25 August 2018
Argentina v South Africa, TBA 00:00
Saturday, 08 September 2018
Australia v South Africa, Brisbane 00:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

The Springboks' 25-24 defeat to the All Blacks at Newlands was ...

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.