The year 2019 will be known as the year when becoming a professional rugby player has almost become impossible for our schoolboy rugby stars. At the Craven Week, we saw the birth of a not so new money making scam all dressed up in brand new clothes aimed to give the children the opportunity to "achieve" recognition and fame overseas.
The schoolboy rugby fraternity is used to the travel agencies selecting the "best" players at rugby weeks for a tour to some foreign country with the obvious purpose to make a profit. Most of us also heard the stories of travel agencies asking coaches who's parents can afford to pay for such tours before they announce the "best" of the week. Old news.
However, at the Craven Week, one such agency had an article published in a leading newspaper claiming to organise a tour to France in order to provide the best of South Africa an opportunity to go and showcase their talent to the French in December. I can also confirm that the journalist responsible for the article/advertisement matriculated at the same school as the owner of this agency.
The owner of this agency then employed a teacher at one of the better schools in Pretoria to convince the "lucky" kids and their parents of this wonderful opportunity that they can not miss out on. But here is when this story turns "strange", I saw this agent doing his "magic" not at the Craven Week but rather at the Academy Week dishing out letters to players of the Blue Bulls Country Districts team, five of them to be exact.
Not exactly targeting the "top" talent or maybe an attitude of the more we invite the quicker we can fill the places on the bus with paying customers? Happy to take money from desperate parents who will pay anything believing that their "garden lizard" will still "transform" into a crocodile in the near future?
P.S. It must be clarified that Ruggas.co.za is still in the process of organising a tour to Europe in order to give our top players who were not contracted in South Africa exposure BUT I made it clear from the start that no profit will be made from such tour and none of the kids will have to pay for the opportunity. Negotiations with sponsors are in process.