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Saru dismisses giving race quota instructions

The South African Rugby Union (Saru) has denied reports that it has instructed that at least half of the South African Schools Rugby team must be made up of players of colour.

“Saru has not issued any instruction to the selectors of the South African Schools team on the number of players to be selected from different race groups and no such meeting took place in Middelburg,” Jurie Roux, Saru chief executive, said in response to a report in Rapport on Sunday. 

The newspaper report said Mervyn Green, Saru’s general manager, had stated during Craven week in Middelburg last Thursday that selectors were told that half the team had to be made up of players of colour. 

Roux explained there would be no need for such a system or policy as there were enough players of colour talent coming through already. “However, we have previously made it very clear to all management at all our junior levels that there is more than enough black talent to achieve a higher representation of generic black players, even to the levels of 50%.” 

Rapport newspaper reported that Saru had instructed 14 of the 28 member team be drawn from black, coloured or Indian players. According to sources, it would have been the first time quotas were officially enforced at school level. The news comes after the South African School trials were held in Kempton Park on Saturday, where 55 school rugby players were competing for the 28 spots in the team. South Africa are scheduled to play under 18 teams from England in Stellenbosch, France in Cape Town and Wales in George, during August. – Sapa

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