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Super Rugby: Lack Of Black Coaches Disturbs SA Rugby

SA Rugby President Mark Alexander says that Super Rugby franchises are not doing enough to develop black coaches.

All four South African Super Rugby teams will be directed by white head coaches in 2020, and neither Guinness Pro14 teams have a person of colour in charge.

A paucity of black coaches in Super Rugby irks Alexander

Speaking on behalf of SA Rugby, Alexander said that the governing body has no control over who the franchises appoint and how the organizations are run.

Three of the four Super Rugby coaches will take charge of their first campaign while Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus stressed that not enough is being done by the franchises to develop black coaches.

“We’re not happy with the make-up of the franchise coaching teams, even though I’m happy with the look of the Springbok coaching group. All the coaches that have come through, they’re from our system,” Alexander said at the announcement of Jacques Nienaber as the new Springbok coach.

“We have to put pressure on our PRO14 and Super Rugby franchises because they’re not bringing through the coaches.”

Nobody is coming through

Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids had been the head coach of the Southern Kings until June of last year when he stepped down citing a need to grow as a coach.

The only other person of colour in the Springbok coaching team is attacking coach Mzwandile Stick. The former Blitzbok also cut his teeth as an assistant coach within the Southern Kings and Eastern Province setups.

No pipeline for black coaches in South African Rugby

Erasmus agrees that the lack of black coaches in Super Rugby is disturbing and directly affects the Springboks ability to implement transformation in their backroom staff.

“We would like to see more coaches of colour coming through, but we unfortunately don’t have control over that, just like we can’t tell them who to appoint as chief executive officer. They run their own franchises.

“I know, when speaking to the coaches at the franchises, with the Sharks being an example, they’re really committed to transformation but I agree with you when you say the head coaches don’t currently reflect transformation. That does make it tough for us to get guys into the national set-up because the pipeline is slightly messed up.” 

All four Super Rugby franchises have affirmed their commitment to coaching transformation but have failed to put those words into practice with coaches of colour not lasting very long at any of the organizations.

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Written by AN

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