As is normal for social media only those that are unhappy with the SA Schools squads that were named yesterday bothered to voice their disapproval of certain selections, or are we living in a society that could simply not be bothered with the selection and processes that was followed.
Personally, I think the latter is the more honest answer. Interestingly it is not just the general public that is losing interest, but it seems that the sponsors are also losing interest or are refusing to take the heat for stupid ideologies that keep the best from being selected. The Craven Week has lost Coke as a sponsor while AON has also disappeared as the sponsor for the u/18 International Series.
But let us first take a good look at the criteria used in selecting these two squads according to SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux - “The selection of these squads is in line with our elite player development pathway of which the SA Schools teams form an important part. We invest time, money and resources into their matches with a view to them graduating through the age group levels to the very top of the game, so good luck to all involved, including the coaching staff of Mzwakhe and Phiwe respectively.”
This immediately excludes a few schoolboy rugby stars like Rodgers, Botha, Wolhuter and a few others who dared to be honest regarding their immediate future plans. Whether we agree with the decision by SARU to exclude boys due to their future plans or not, at least they came out and was honest in this regard.
Unfortunately, I must agree with the decision of SARU to exclude boys who do not want to commit to SA Rugby BUT I must disagree on using schoolboy rugby as the criteria when investing in boys for the future. I still hold the opinion to select kids who are the best at the specified age of a team. The name "SA Schools" claims to include the best schoolboy rugby players at school in a certain year. I beg to differ.
The quota requirements, especially in 2019, took a major slice of the cake which does not leave a lot of space for the "best" to be selected. During the past two or three years, all the boys selected for the SA Schools teams were 97.5% on merit but it must be said the harvest of 2019 is definitely below par and not by 1% or 2% either.
This, unfortunately, is going to be the trend for the immediate future as more and more "white capitalist do-gooders" are getting tired of the demands by the people they are trying to help. They are simply walking away from acts of kindness that have delivered some of the most exciting talents on our rugby fields and decided to rather spend their money where it actually saves lives and communities. They are giving up on rugby as a whole, can be said.
1) The intentions of SARU is clear and maybe they must not use the term "SA Schools" but rather u/18 Springboks then all involved will immediately understand the criteria for selection.
2) It is definately not the best squads that could have been announced and unfortunately, the boys of colour who absolutely deserved selection will forever carry the label as a quota player.
Unfortunately, I foresee that in a few years South African schools will be forced to also comply with quota requirements, with the learners of the schools that do not comply not eligible for selection to the youth weeks nor the "SA Schools" teams. Basically forcing parents to pay for a kiddies party well knowing their kids will not be invited due to colour of their skin.
This will be the last and desperate move by SARU to force the public to pay for the development of players of colour before the ship sinks with Queen's "We Were The Champions" playing for all to hear. Oh and do not forget the 1% of the 10 million rugby supporters who will be partying on the beach and celebrate the birth of the new and useless Sjameboxs. The other 99% will be standing at the airport waving goodbye to the deserving Springboks on their way to stardom and success.