Rudy Paige in his Springbok RWC jersey (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Transformation was no doubt the biggest talking point in the build-up to the Springbok Rugby World Cup squad announcement.
Coach Heyneke Meyer was under pressure to meet transformation requirements and according to SARU’s strategic transformation plan, the “target” for this year’s World Cup was 30% players of colour.
Whether it was a target or a specific requirement, there’s no doubt the Bok coach had to consider the transformation requirements when naming his squad.
Meyer named Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Siya Kolisi, Zane Kirchner, JP Pietersen, Bryan Habana, Lwazi Mvovo, Damian de Allende and Rudy Paige as players of colour in his squad for the showpiece event in England and Wales.
That adds up to 9* players which meets the 30% requirement.
The Boks start their World Cup campaign against Japan in Brighton on September 19.
Their second pool game is on September 26 against Samoa in Birmingham, before Tests against Scotland in Newcastle on October 3 and the USA in London on October 7.
Willem Alberts, Schalk Brits, Schalk Burger, Lood de Jager, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Francois Louw, Frans Malherbe, Victor Matfield (vice-captain), Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Adriaan Strauss, Duane Vermeulen
Jean de Villiers (captain), Damian de Allende, Fourie du Preez, Bryan Habana, Zane Kirchner, Jesse Kriel, Pat Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lwazi Mvovo, Rudy Paige, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Handre Pollard, Morne Steyn
*Despite recent media reports indicating otherwise, it has officially been confirmed to Sport24 that Damian de Allende is considered as a player of colour.