Jean de Villiers (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - A New Zealand scribe feels the South African national rugby team should no longer be called Springboks.
The build-up to Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer naming his Rugby World Cup squad last Friday was overshadowed by talks of the racial composition of the side.
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.
Meyer obliged by picking 9 players of colour in his 31-man squad.
Chris Rattue, a columnist for the New Zealand Herald, took note of these political rumblings and gave his own opinion on the matter.
“It's high time for the Springbok to leap like a gazelle into history, for South African rugby to signal a bold future and new mentality by finding another name for their national rugby side,” Rattue wrote on Wednesday.
“The Springbok team is dividing at home before they try to conquer at the World Cup. Debate over the racial makeup of the side has exposed wounds and opened a window on their rugby and society. It is an ugly and hopeful debate all in one, but the opportunity to use it for good needs to be taken."
Rattue feels the Springbok logo should have been scrapped at unification back in the 1990s.
“The Springbok symbol was so closely associated with the disgusting apartheid system, was so much an icon of white domination and self-indulgent cruelty, that it should have been retired in the mid-1990s when the evil segregation laws were eliminated.”
CLICK HERE to read Rattue's full column on the NZ Herald website.