Cape Town - Trade union Cosatu has welcomed the transformation in rugby and sees it as a move in the right direction in uniting the nation behind the Springboks.
In a press release on Wednesday, Cosatu stated that head coach Allister Coetzee should be supported and given time to integrate the new style of play that is needed from South African rugby, if the Boks are to keep up with Southern Hemisphere style of play.
The press statement went on to state that: "Members of the Springboks who had previously approached Cosatu to look into the lack of transformation, have signalled that there is a group of white players who want to see this integrated team and coach fail. This may be behind the bad performance of some of the players in the last two Tests (against Ireland). We should never underestimate the attitude of some rugby players and supporters, who are not supportive of this Springbok team and this transformation agenda. These players who sabotage the performance of the Springboks must be investigated and remove from the Springbok set-up.
"The coach must also not relent to the pressures on him; we stand and fall by a representative Springbok team that has all our players included. The days of reserving some positions for some white players must be gone forever and we must also not include foreign players any longer. We have enough talent in the country to put together great teams that can win our country the matches. The coach must not panic and start ignoring players who are part of the squad for imported players we want to see our squad on the field first before the squad is expanded to include others. Cosatu will continue to champion the interests of black players who were excluded for white players who were promised positions from their fathers and the Stellenbosch mafia. We want a team that includes all the players in South Africa, both black and white, with no more guarantees for old white players.
Cosatu added that it wants to see: "An end to the domination of M-Net of rugby broadcasting and that matches should be shifted to the SABC channels or shown during open time on M-Net, whose monopoly in South Africa is part of the old apartheid linked companies state capture. Rugby commentators should reflect the new South Africa and the black commentators defended against M-Net, while the old white commentators should be replaced by younger white commentators, as these old commentators still demonstrate apartheid prejudices.
"The referees and transformation funding and support leaves much to be desired and we want to see more urgency in all the junior areas, including schools and black clubs. The sponsors and businesses linked to SARU also need to be reviewed, so all communities get opportunities and not only the old white boys club."
Cosatu said it would be monitoring developments in rugby across the value chain and will be calling on SARU to speed up transformation at all levels.