Spare a thought this week for Teboho Mohoje.

The Springbok flanker just can’t get any game time it seems, because Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer refuses to back him on the field.

Mohoje’s case is not unique; many black South African rugby players have suffered the same fate.

They excel at provincial rugby, rise up the ranks and then get that call up to the Bok squad; it’s a proud moment that very quickly turns sour.

It turns sour when they find that they spend months warming the bench and carrying tackle bags, never really being given a shot to prove themselves.

When there is an injury to the white player above them in the squad, they find they are leapfrogged to a place on the bench or in the starting 15 by another white player who wasn’t even in the initial squad or a player who the coach has chosen to play out of position.

It happens over and over again and it’s time to start calling this behavior what it is.

It’s racism, plain and simple.


The Boks are playing Australia in the Rugby Championship on Saturday and Meyer announced his team just the other day.

Mohoje was not in the team – not even on the bench.

Two weeks ago, Mohoje was left out of the Springbok squad to face Argentina, in the Boks’ second test of the championship. Instead an ageing white player making a comeback was picked when he wasn’t even in the initial squad.

This selection from Meyer prompted Archbishop Desmond Tutu to write an open letter to the Cape Times.

In it he criticised the SA Rugby Union (Saru) for the “tortoise pace” at which transformation is taking place in the national team.

Tutu said it was “particularly hurtful” to see the selection of black players as “peripheral squad members never given the chance to settle down and earn their spurs”.

Tutu said the exclusion of Mohoje from the squad two weeks ago was the most recent example of the lack of transformation in the sport.

“The next in line for a starting berth, he was leapfrogged into the team by a paler player,” Tutu wrote. “Of course, Juan Smith is a fantastic player and by all accounts a very decent South African. It’s not his fault he’s been selected; it’s his dream,” Tutu wrote. “But spare a thought for Oupa. And he’s not the only one.”

While we are talking about racism, can I just point out that Mohoje’s nickname, “Oupa”, to which Tutu refers, was given to him by a white high school coach because the coach couldn’t pronounce his name, and clearly didn’t feel like he should make an effort to learn.


As things turned out, Smith was rather anonymous in the test against Argentina, and even though he was selected to tour Australia and New Zealand with the Bok team, he declined, saying that he needed to be match fit.

But if he wasn’t match fit, why was he selected in the first place?

I assumed this was Mohoje’s shot to get a start in the number 7 jersey.

But Smith’s withdrawal from the squad created an opening for Lions flanker Warren Whitely, who was jettisoned to a spot on the bench while Mohoje is not in the match day squad at all.

The number 7 jersey has been handed to Marcel Coetzee, who is now playing out of position, and the place on the bench has gone to Whitely.

What does Mohoje have to do to get a game?

There are many pundits out there defending the selections.

They argue that the Springboks want to play two fetchers against Australia and that Whitely offers wider cover on the bench in a range of positions, but it seems the issue is really that black players are not being given their opportunities to “earn their spurs”, to use Tutu’s words.


So let’s talk about Mohoje

Struggling with injuries in 2012 after high school, Mohoje almost gave up rugby, but Shimlas coach Michael Horak pulled him back in.

Mohoje would go on to shine in the Varisty Cup in 2013, being named player of the tournament and making history as the first black player to captain the Shimlas rugby team.

He was also named Free State club player of the year for 2013.

He then moved up into the Free State Cheetahs 2014 Super Rugby squad, earning seven caps.

Mohoje took his opportunity and scored a great try against the Canterbury Crusaders in Bloemfontein.

“It just saw [Crusaders fullback] Israel Dagg turn his back and I decided to back myself,” he told

Well at least Mohoje has got his own back, because nobody else seems to.

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské described him as “a player of the future” during the Super Rugby season, and then Meyer came knocking to call him up to the Bok squad.

“I’m really excited by Oupa,” Meyer said. “I even said to him I think he’s good enough to play and I want to give him a chance against Scotland.

“He is big and strong and is excellent in the lineouts. I think he can be a great blindside flank – he’s more or less the same build as Willem [Alberts] and I want to see what he can do when he comes on.”

The South African rugby press was skeptical. Influential rugby writer Mark Keohane effectively called Mohoje’s selection tokenism on Twitter, and when The Con challenged him on this, inferring that he was “part of the problem” going around calling black players tokens, he responded with some kind of argument about merit, as if he can’t even see the systemic racial problems in South African rugby.

Others scribes called it an “interesting” selection and a “surprise” selection, and stories followed about Mohoje’s rapid rise from the “dusty streets” of Qwa Qwa.

In the end, Mohoje came on for the last 15 minutes of the game against Scotland. And that was the last opportunity he got.

Since then, Smith has been picked ahead of him after not even being in the initial squad, and now Coetzee is being played out of position and the unfortunately named Whitely, considering the circumstances, has leapfrogged him for a spot on the bench.


So let’s get down the heart of the matter here – Meyer doesn’t back black South Africa rugby players.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the stats, which show that Meyer is sacrificing the Springbok careers of black South African rugby players because he is determined to give ageing white Springbok one last shot at Rugby World Cup glory.

Mohoje (24), Lwazi Mvovo (28), Juan de Jongh (26), Trevor Nyakane (25), S’bura Sithole (24) and Siya Kolisi (23) are just some of the black Boks who have been forced to take a backseat.

Disagree? Consider these statistics for a minute. Meyer has been Springbok coach for 29 tests. In those 29 tests he has picked 11 black players in his starting 15.

They are Bryan Habana, JP Pietersen, Tendai Mtawarira, Zane Kirchner, Juan de Jongh, Gio Aplon, Guthrö Steenkamp, Bjorn Basson, Lwazi Mvovo, Damian de Allende and Cornal Hendricks.

Of these eight, De Allende and Hendricks are the only two to receive their first Springbok cap from Meyer.

Jake White capped Habana and Steenkamp in November 2004, while Pietersen received his call-up from White in September 2006.

The rest were all capped by Peter de Villiers: Mtawarira in June 2008; Kirchner in July 2009; De Jongh, Aplon and Basson in June 2010; Mvovo in November 2010.


In Meyer’s three years in charge of the Springboks, black rugby players on average have received 4.2 caps, and just 0.9 caps as starters.

What about their white team-mates?

In those three years white rugby players on average received 7.28 caps and 4.4 as starters.

That’s a massive difference.

Meyer has capped 30 new Springboks in his 29 tests in charge, but only six of those 30 have been black.

By comparison, De Villiers capped 31 new Springboks in his four-year reign, 12 of whom were black.

White capped 34 new Springboks in his four-year reign and 15 of them were black.

But Meyer has capped only six black rugby players out of 30 in three years.

They are Nyakane, Kolisi, Mohoje, Hendricks, De Allende and Elton Jantjies.

These six have earned 24 caps in three years, however only Hendricks four caps and De Allende’s two caps were as members of the starting 15.

Nyakane has four caps (all off the bench), Kolisi has 10 caps (all off the bench), Mohoje has one cap (off the bench) and Jantjies has two caps (off the bench).

Of the other black players who played under Meyer, Steenkamp has earned 14 caps (just four as a starter), Mvovo has earned five caps (three as a member of the starting 15), De Jongh has earned four caps (two as a starter), and Aplon has earned just one cap as a starter under Meyer.

So unless you are Habana (25 caps under Meyer), Pietersen (12 caps under Meyer), Mtawarira (25 caps under Meyer) or Kirchner (15 caps under Meyer), it’s pretty difficult to get a start in the Springboks if you are black.


But white players who were capped for the first time by Meyer have had no problem racking up their test caps.

Coetzee has got 17 caps (nine as a starter), Eben Etzebeth has 24 caps (22 as a starter), JJ Engelbrecht has 12 caps (nine as a starter), and Willie le Roux has 16 caps (15 as a starter).

As a friend said to me on Facebook, “some players are born ready to start for the Springboks and others are not trusted. It’s right there in front of you.”

In the press, Meyer waxed lyrical about having to give the young players he had selected a chance to prove themselves. There just haven’t been any young black players getting those opportunities.


But let’s move on to the ailing white veterans of the Boks. Victor Matfield (36), Bakkies Botha (34), Juan Smith (33), Schalk Brits (33), Fourie du Preez (32), Schalk Burger (31), Jaque Fourie (31), Ruan Pienaar (30) and Morné Steyn (30) have all been brought back into the fold at the expense of younger players trying to make their name in Springbok rugby.

Of these players, only Matfield and Du Preez actually deserve their spots in the squad.

The majority of these veterans earned their reputations as part of White’s 2007 World Cup-winning team, and it seems that Meyer believes the only way he can win the World Cup in 2015 is with this same crop of players.

From the 2007 World Cup final squad, only Habana, Pietersen, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Matfield, Du Preez and Pienaar still deserve to be playing for the Springboks.

Jean de Villiers was injured early in the tournament, and although he has lost some pace over the years, he is still good enough to make the team.

But Botha, Steenkamp, Brits, Smith, Fourie, Burger and Steyn should have been put out to pasture long ago, and the fact that they are even being entertained as potential World Cup squad members for next year suggests a certain amount of desperation from Meyer ­− never mind the knock-on effect this policy of bringing back vets has on defeating transformation when players like Smith get selected above Mohoje.


The stats tell the story.

Mayer doesn’t back black South Africa rugby players and he is sacrificing the Springbok careers of some of our most promising rising stars.

So spare a thought for Mohoje, but also spare a thought for Sithole, Mvovo, De Jongh, Nyakane and Kolisi.

Spare a thought for every black rugby player who has to fight an uphill battle in a systemically racist sport.

The fact that some black players make it to the top of the sport is a miracle considering the hurdles they have to overcome.

So when Habana runs out on to the field on Saturday to become the first black South African to reach 100 caps for the Springboks, think of all those black players who are struggling to just get on to the field for just one cap.



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142 Responses to “Heyneke Meyer and the All Whites”

  1. Jacq
    September 5, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

    Well written and very informative article Lloyd! As a rugby playing and supporting nation it is exceptionally disappointing that there is not an outcry about this. SARU passage politics surely condones this. In my view Heyneke Meyer is using Jake White’s old team and not receiving half the flack for it which Pieter de Villiers got.

    We always wonder about the annoying booing experienced at Newlands when a New Zealand franchise plays there against Western Province / Stormers or even the Springboks – your article sums it up with accuracy.

    Transformation in SA Rugby – What transformation?

    • Lunga
      September 5, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

      Transformation is not something that the coach of the national side should ever be thinking about. It’s a grass roots issue. Heyneke Meyer is winning 75% of his game, Pieter de Villiers won 62%. Why should he be getting flack? He is the most successful coach since 1996.

      • Lloyd Gedye
        Lloyd Gedye
        September 5, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

        I am not arguing that there are not enough black players coming up through the ranks, I am arguing that they are not being given their fair chance to prove themselves when they get to the Springboks. You argument about grass roots transformation is completely irrelevant to my article.

        • Lunga
          September 5, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

          Who are you to decide what is a fair chance in international sport? Have you coached at any level? Do you know what coaches are looking for? Seriously.

          • Mzukisi
            September 7, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

            I read the article and kept nodding to myself with every truth and fact being brought to the fore without looking at the name of the author you would normally find at the beginning of any other column. I seriously believed that it was a very concerned BLACK journor. I must say I was impressed by Lloyd on sticking with the truth and facts which it’s a rare quality you will find from other white journors when it comes to transformation commentary or subject. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for LUNGA. You come out as very DEFICIENT and GULLIBLE black and that is downright disappointing brother. It seems you are in support of Heyneke Meyer racist tendencies and that is just plain STUPID. Clearly you are the type of “CLEVER BLACK” that Msholozi has a problem with…me too.

        • Jason
          September 8, 2014 at 8:45 am #

          Lloyd, do us a favor and stick to soccer, you will find the color and the results you like over there.

          • William
            September 10, 2014 at 8:00 am #

            Jason I couldn’t agree with you more! I think articles like this are really just a need for attention… If you want to talk about this issue Lloyd then do us a favour mate and write an article on South African soccer, NOW WHITES THERE???! The Springboks are winning and that’s all that matters Take your racial tendancies somewhere else

        • Anonymous
          September 9, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

          RACIST? Is it not racist pushing white players out and having legislation that sees the selection of black players regardless of their ability? Mandela wanted an equal world and we have reverted back to social inequality in the favour of blacks. If you are good enough, you will play, otherwise…get lost

          • Dominique
            September 10, 2014 at 8:56 am #

            Anonymous, I think you should stay anonymous because I would be ashamed too if I thought like you. Yes, Mandela wanted an equal world but how can that be achieved without equal opportunities. Open your eyes!

      • AB
        September 7, 2014 at 7:06 pm #

        Heineker meyer has never with his team beaten the All Blacks. What did Pieter de Villier do at Dunedin? (house of pain)… A black player, mr.Januarie scored a individual match winning try. Consider the blacks Heineker

        • Anonymous
          September 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

          He’s coloured. Good comment….

        • nyaniso magwa
          April 27, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

          he broke a 30 game unbeaten recored

      • Theri
        September 8, 2014 at 2:27 am #

        Veri strong facts. To support a truth. There is smthng wrong with bok selection. We have some of the best players in the world in certain position acros the race barier. But come selection time then black players are at back of the line. Even though they play with their hearts on their sleaves provincialy. Look at the WP squad, kholisi kar aplon de jong just to mention . If u tel me that is not talent worthey of bok call ups young fresh talent. You wil never see their names on a bok starting list together. Our countries identity as a rainbow nation in sports more especialy rugby is fading. Theres also the issue of age. Ruan Pienaars is aging faster then Du Preez in terms of form. I truely fee for Hougard he is being tossed around til he also moves over seas. Schalk a legend for Wp but we must know legends are of the past. De Jongs movement and speed is far more superior then that of Pieterson. Aplon in terms of agility ,speed and kicking can match Willie has been around longer but he to short to be a bok. Except for the scrumhalfs & fly halves positions we have black players making their names known provincialy and are constant performers. To me its about the game and the pasion. If a player is old then so be it. There are scores of hungry passionate profesional athletes who want to show what dinamic S.A has. Y would u wane keep a squad of 7years ago where some have aged in years and skill. Y cant there be more then 6 colored players on Bok starting sheet. Y do literaly old players have to be re-called. The pride in the green and gold is fading til it becomes a plain white tshirt. Politics and Racial profiling are the ur eyes lunga

      • LM Biko
        September 9, 2014 at 10:20 am #

        @Lunga- u are surely a maverick of the time, if you can for once put your rugby-school indoctrination aside and look at the facts you will surely see Merit in Lloyd’s article. You harp on about grassroots, have you actually watched the last 3-5 editions of Craven Week?? Have you watched the last 3 editions of the Varsity Cup?? If you have then you argument about not enough black players coming through the ranks is null and void. As for players being picked on Merit, which of the players that HM has picked at 13 warranted a starting berth ahead of De Jong and how many were given chance after chance after not impressing (JJ Engelbrecht comes to mind)?? Your attack on Lloyd lacks substance because you and the ilk you share braais and Castle with over the weekend continue to stick your heads in the sand….You are a sad case!!

        • L.L.M
          September 9, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

          nazoke Biko , this Lunga does not know what his talking about for example liek Mr Biko said HM selection at no 12&13 is questionable as those players were out through injury and lack match fittness for 1 , we got players like De jong and the likes or Sithole who were playing and excelling at club level yet they did get a call up, then Frans was out for about 3 months this he had a concussion , come striaght back to the bok set up and Nyakane dropped, does HM lack that much belief in black players that against Argentina he use all his subs eccept 1 (Lwazi Mvovo) in both his games, the Drops him for a centre . Come on we got like 3 inside centres for the game against Ausies no wonder we got wacked

      • Armien Davids
        September 10, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

        Lunga he is the most successful coach because hes afraid to try out new players and depend on the 2007 squad. In my opinion Pieter de Villiers is more successful because he ventured into unknown territory and still produced results. He was willing to embrace transformation unlike HM. So Lloyd your article hits the spot and Lunga needs to read your article again…slowly

      • nyaniso magwa
        April 27, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

        to Lunga, you are talking about a winning rate! which cup has that 75% rate got us? none! now let me tell you about the other two coach
        ; Peter DE Villiers got us a TRI-NATIONS CUP, won his matchs against teams like england, Ireland, Scotland…etc both in the Incoming tour and outgoing tour! the boks under Peter de Villers played good rugby but lost in the world cup yes! Under Jake white we won the Tri-Nation and a World Cup even thou his winning rate was poor! what have we won under Meyer? and we are playing bad Rugby under him, so that 75% is of poor rugby!

      • nyaniso magwa
        April 27, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

        i feel sorry for those people who supports Meyer’s ” 75% of bad rugby” rather than coachs who South Africa won cups and played great Rugby like Jake white back in 2004-2007 and Peter de Villers in 2008-2011

    • Tim
      September 6, 2014 at 8:52 am #

      Ja I have to agree with the writer here. Also, the team selection is not only racist, it is quite simply a white Afrikaaner team. White english players get shut out just as badly as players of colour. Count them in today’s team. There are 2. Luke Watson was spot on when he said that Afrikaaners rule rugby like their exclusive possession.

  2. Lunga
    September 5, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    So Meyer is not racist against Habana, Beast and other players of colour but just the uncapped players? Makes total sense. Idiot.

    • Lloyd Gedye
      Lloyd Gedye
      September 5, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

      Just a piece of advice Lunga. Maybe understand how systemic racism works before you call people idiots.

      • Lunga
        September 5, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

        How can he be a racist if he consistently picks players of colour? As for the Mohoje issue – a player who 12 months ago playing club rugby vs Juan Smith. No brainer. Meyer has a 75% winnning record. He has only lost four games. Sorry, I don’t see the ‘desperation’.

        • Lloyd Gedye
          Lloyd Gedye
          September 5, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

          Lunga did you read my article? If so why are you asking me to restate my argument. Its all there. You clearly don’t understand systemic racism.

        • Mzwandile
          September 7, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

          Lunga we go on about this 75% record when we know that we really are competing or should be competing against one team. We forget Pieter de Villiers beat the All Blacks four times and Meyer um… zero. The one thing one must commend de Villiers for above Meyer is having lost to weaker opposition in the name of progress. Meyer has sometimes chosen to play horrible rugby, which is not in any way with the intent to progress, in the name of a win.

          Meyer instead of picking the best number 13 in this country at 13 has played Taute, Fourie, de Allende, de Villiers, Engelbrecht and most recently Serfontein with dire failure in most cases – either due to the guy playing out of position or being a spent force. Thus if you are happy about a scrappy win against Argentina as successful without any sign of progress of game plan then we are not being open minded about this guy.

          I love the Springboks with every molecule of my being. I respect Meyer but I disagree when he sidelines players such as Kolisi, de Jongh on explanations so nonsensical that it only leads one to conclude some basis of him trusting big Afrikaans players above all.

      • Gerald
        September 7, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

        Lloyd look at the Soccer, there are almost ZERO whites!! It doesn’t mean Heineke is racist, he never said it is, you and some that comment on this should stop saying he is a racist, false accusations! Besides I can find many white players who can replace some black players, but because 50% has to become black those white players can’t be chosen! I love Sia Kolisi, Chevanga, Mvovo, JP Pietersen, Matsekatze and The Beast, because they are good players!

      • Justin
        September 8, 2014 at 7:42 am #

        Sorry but you are an idiot… don’t like taking people on but seriously… Lunga is 100% right… iIf the player is good enough he will be played… and FYI… stern was not part of the 2007 world cup squad… so what other facts are bull? Secondly there are many more white players than black players so by using awesome grade 1 math statistics state that more white guys will be given a chance… and let’s have a look at the black capped players? Did they perform when the chance was given? No… those white capped guys who got so many matches is because they are brilliant players… where is your stats on white guys starting and then never being selected again? And some of the black players that received caps never deserved it anyway… yes oupa is apart of the future but unfortunately he plas a position where the competition is insane… get the politics out of the sport… and HM has the best record of all those coaches… you think it’s by chance? no… so shhhh.. This race twhere’s the whites in our football team? Write an article about that… and had a na is the 1st black player to reach 100 tests and the 4th player ever to reach it… so shut up please.

    • Staal Burger
      September 7, 2014 at 9:54 am #

      Doesn’t matter – when it comes to understand the White liberal the “race botherer” such logic doesn’t matter. If Heneke were racist then Habana and others would never have played for the Bulls. But our author feels he knows better that the Bok coach, he wants to select the team. These people make me sick – I believe it is better that all White and Coloured playesr simply withdraw from our national sports squads – give these race botherers waht they want. We can have no normal sport in an abnormal society, so racist EE/AA laws aimed at whites/coloureds/indians must be exposed and addressed.

      • christo jacobs
        September 8, 2014 at 5:37 am #

        @Staal Burger do you really believe the rubbish you are talking? You believe all white and coloured players should withdraw? what coloured players? Habana and Cornell? c’mon my mate, coloureds are not that stupid to believe that utter rubbish that we are the chosen ones and are treated fairly, and only blacks are hammering on the fact that their are no transformation. Why do you think so many colourds walk around, more than blacks, with All Black colors? Let me explain it to you in simple words, “we dont support racist sport” and for that reason we rather prefers to back the ABs and not a lily white, with the minimal black and or coloured dots in between, team.

        • leslie
          September 8, 2014 at 10:13 am #

          totaly agree

  3. jp barnard
    September 5, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    What a waste of time reading this!

  4. Lunga
    September 5, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    Just researched the origin of Oupa’s nickname as yours was unbelievable and as I suspected, false. If you are going to publish a damning article of this nature at least check your facts. According to Mohoje, he has a grey streak of hair and was named Oupa by his coach as a result of this characteristic. Misguided white guilt makes for the most sensationalist boring journalism ever!

    • Lloyd Gedye
      Lloyd Gedye
      September 5, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

      Wow Lunga you are becoming tedious. Here is the article this was based on.

      As you will read the coach couldn’t pronounce his name so he gave him the name “Oupa” after the grey hair as you rightly point out.

      The act of giving a black player some stupid Afrikaans name because you can’t pronounce his real name is racist, do you not get that?

      • Pete
        September 5, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

        “some stupid Afrikaans name”: wow, who’s the bigot now. As the article states: he couldn’t pronounce his name (being Afrikaans) + the reason for choice of nickname was the grey hair. How does this show that the coach thought he is a lesser, inferior human? You assume too much.

        • Lloyd Gedye
          Lloyd Gedye
          September 5, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

          Yes because calling a teenage boy Oupa is completely logical. This assumption that its ok to give black South Africans nick names or shorten their names because you can’t pronounce them or be bothered to learn needs to be addressed. It is not ok.

          • Pete
            September 5, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

            It is logical if he has grey hair. Nicknames are jokes, not objective, encompassing descriptions. Take Robin van Persie for instance: the so-called Dutch-Skunk. I agree: more of an effort should be made! Not doing so doesn’t automatically make you racist. But calling a nickname stupid because it’s afrikaans and berating afrikaans speakers for struggling with other languages renders your comment bigoted.

          • Lloyd Gedye
            Lloyd Gedye
            September 5, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

            But Pete some of my best friends are Afrikaans!

            ha ha ha ha

          • Robert
            September 5, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

            Calling someone Oupa who has grey hair – I see quite a lot of logic in that.

          • Sazi Luke
            September 7, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

            Thanks for the very informative article Llyod- we have been struggling with transformation in rugby and in every other major sector which was previously white South African dominated in the past. Change is happening at a vey very slow rate, which is particialy due to our denial of these issues in South Africa. But change is hard, I thank you for writing this article, as I’m sure you are not doing it for popularity- the accuracy of your opinions is debatable as is the accuracy of any other opinion- but what your article does is forces us to challenge our minds with this new information against what we previously thought which forces people to think- and that is always a great thing. Just some 2cent advise, you don’t have to reply to every person who disagrees and insults you based on your opinion, as that says more about their personality and character to feel the need to insult someone who shares a different opinion. What you have done with this article is challenge peoples realities, and as humans there is nothing more scary then our realities being challenged, hence some of the aggression from people commenting – keep up the good work and continue pushing buandaries, as it’s often the ones that push boundaries that make civilisation reach new hights

      • Lunga
        September 5, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

        No, I don’t. But I can see why you do. Your article lacks substantial evidence to your damning claims – hence the completely irrelevant reference.

      • Johan
        September 7, 2014 at 10:34 am #

        Lloyd die storie van n ou n bynaam gee is genuine nie rassisme nie.

  5. Daniel
    September 5, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    Hi Lloyd,

    Firstly, thanks for a really well reasoned article. I think it’s essential to have these discussions. As the lack of transformation is a serious issue in rugby today. There are a lot of talented young black players at the Craven week, but by the time you get to the U/19-U/21 teams, it’s usually lily white.

    SARU won’t be able to seriously address the transformation issue at the top level, before addressing it at the base.

    This being what it is, I usually get a little cautious around accusing someone of racism with merely substantial factors. Take the omission of Mohoje for Whiteley. To what extent to do you say Whiteley outplayed and outpracticed Mohoje? Especially considering the depth SA has always had on the flanks.

    To be fair, as well, Kolisi had a rough season, and struggled to seperate himself from the pack, and while Juan Smith is one of my favourite players, he didn’t deserve to start ahead of Coetzee. Also, Nyakane has struggled at loosehead, and the last time he was in the set up he missed his flight.

    I don’t want it to seem like I’m picking on niggles though. The over reaching message is clear, that not enough is being done to transform rugby. But I still don’t think the coach of the national team should bear that cross, but rather SARU that receives most of the profit, and seemingly does nothing with it.

  6. Robert
    September 5, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    check your facts, charna.

    • Lloyd Gedye
      Lloyd Gedye
      September 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

      Which facts are you disputing Robert?

    • Daniel
      September 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

      Which facts? I’ll be happy to oblige.

  7. Nqolintso
    September 5, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

    There’s no way this guy’s real name is Lunga…haykhona andivumi…maybe Lunga is his domestic son’s name…No Black man worth his salt can defend HM’s blatant racism like the way John(Lunga) does…that is so selfhateful John mfowethu…it is high time Minister Razzmataz enforce the quota system…we can’t wait for SA Rufby,HM and Lunga to do that on their own any more…if SA Rugby still wanna use the Protea emblem they should conform or Razzmataz must revoke it…NDISATSHAYA!!!

  8. Pete
    September 5, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

    For a coach with a winning ratio of over 70% he is doing incredibly well with players that should have been put out to pasture, as you put it. I don’t deny that there might be systemic racism in the Bok selection, just that your article doesn’t establish it. For every young black player who is not played there are several white players who are not selected or played. You would have to show that the reason these black players are not chosen is because they are black. The statistical evidence on the number of players is not significant, given the small pool. Also, you sight no performance stats! For instance, how many unforced errors, turnovers did Fourie manage versus Mohoje? More importantly how do they fair as teammates? The answers might support your conclusion…but his age shows nothing. Fyi, the winning age for world cup winners? 28.

  9. Pete
    September 5, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    *average age, not winning age

  10. Thabo
    September 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    I lay the blame squarely at the concessions made by our late father of the nation, Dr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela before 1995. Retaining the name “Springboks” to appease the whites is the reason we have all this nonsense. We have been talking about Tranformation or rather “lack thereof” for years now, when are we going to be serious about transforming South Africa Rugby?

    • Robert
      September 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

      Hahaha! Thabo you and Lloyd should run for coach, hey! Just remember to teach him how to pronounce your name.

      What was the relevance of that anyway? Oh by they way, Mohoje’s coach in high school was a racist.

      • Lloyd Gedye
        Lloyd Gedye
        September 5, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

        I believe it speaks to the systemic nature of racism in rugby Robert

        • Robert
          September 8, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

          I believe you are an bigot idiot.

    • Egr
      September 10, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

      Change the apartheid name of springbok, it still carry the essence of the old regime.

    • Egr
      September 10, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

      Change the apartheid name of springbok, it still carry the essence of the old regime. Why continue with this name when all sport codes in South Africa have only the protea as their badge and not the reminder of the apartheid springbok.

  11. Pete
    September 5, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

    “@ Lloyd Gedye
    September 5, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    But Pete some of my best friends are Afrikaans!

    ha ha ha ha”

    LOL, nice one. But can you pronounce their names properly?

  12. brad
    September 5, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    lag ek nou lekker! judging by the authors gevriet he knows fok*l about rugby anyway – how he has the balls to tune systematic racism at international level – he must be a whitey ne!!!

  13. brad
    September 5, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    is this kind still going watch the game tomorrow morning? if yis – the you are mos supporting racism my bru…

  14. Thabo
    September 5, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    We cannot be speaking about transformation in 2014, we really cannot. This is an indictment on the Sports Ministry and by extension, the ANC. This points to a clear lack of political will to enforce what had been agreed upon well before 1994.

    To leave the transformation agenda in the hands of whites is a definite non-starter. They have shown no interest in transforming Rugby at all.

    • brad
      September 5, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

      uhmm Thabo – the hands of whites? I am coloured, and last time I checked Oregan was too. Get by with the facts.

      • Thabo
        September 6, 2014 at 5:59 am #

        Brad, Brad, Brad…..I don’t want to call you naïve or trusting too much. We all know that if we ever had a token appointment in Rugby, it will be Oregon….yes he is the “president” of 3ugby in Sa, but what powers does he have? What has he done about transformation in Rugby?

        The fact that he is coloured, has been leading rugby in RSA and we still have these issues re transformation in Rugby, should have rung the bells for you long time ago.

  15. Johan
    September 5, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

    People always fight about rugby and racism. What about our national soccer team. They must then also be classified as racist. There is 1 white player in the team that played in the opening of the qualifier for the 2015 Afcon cup. Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba must then also be racist for only choosing 1 white player to represent South Africa. There has been more Black Springbok players than White players in the national soccer team. Can someone please explain why that is?

    • Lloyd Gedye
      Lloyd Gedye
      September 6, 2014 at 5:05 am #

      I was wondering how long it would take for the intellectually challenged “but Bafana only has one white player” argument.

      • Gerald Copeland Steyn
        September 9, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

        Please for crying out loud explain whyyy you consider this argument “intellectually challenged”?!? Ffs!!! Whenever this argument is raised all you pro-quota praisers are stone dead silent! Please explain this…

  16. Moeketsi
    September 5, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

    Hi Lloyd
    I was once a rugby player who got provincial colour( craven week), was promised junior contract by a certain province if I went to play in that province for a club that falls within their league, I went there to joind a club contract never came, there was 3 of us. I got injurd was left out even the other 2 guys never got their contracts. I strongly agree with you, there r lots of talentd black players out there, but their dreams to play either for any franchise within the country or the springboks remains jst that…. a dream, people like HM and the top Bras in the executive r jst there to see to it that people lyk us never make to the top. I do not play rugby anymore I dnt even watch it due to such.

  17. Tim
    September 6, 2014 at 6:43 am #

    You fail to provide any evidence that players (who you think should not be playing – what do you know anyway boet?) are selected because they are white. Weak article.

  18. Amos
    September 6, 2014 at 7:32 am #

    I wish to see about 11 starting black players in each of our super rugby teams week in and week out?

  19. Ryan
    September 6, 2014 at 7:50 am #

    Agree with Tim. To prove racism you need sound evidence – not stats or your thoughts who you think should be and not be playing. Meyer is doing an excellent job with the squad he has. Also can’t help wondering if the author watches games and indirectly supports the so called ‘systematic racism’. If so, he is a hypocrite.

    • Thabo
      September 6, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

      Geez Ryan…are you for real when you say “to prove racism you need sound evidence- and not stats”. I can’t believe you said that. I work with numbers daily and they surely do not lie.

      How else do you suggest we prove racism in Rugby, RSA Rugby?

  20. Amos
    September 6, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    Meyer needs to be honest with himself. He mustn’t just select black player if he is not going to use them

  21. Wessel van Rensburg
    September 6, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    Interesting analysis but there is two points you make I disagree with. Botha and Smith just came off winning arguably the toughest rugby tourament, the equivalent of the Champoins League, Smith scoring a scintillating try and can hardly be described as past their prime.

  22. Xola
    September 6, 2014 at 10:43 am #

    I have a suspicion that Lunga is a white afrikaner masquerading as a black person. Well written article Lloyd.

    • Sweet
      September 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

      You’ve given one example of a player fighting for one position – he is not a specialist lock so he can not compete for that position. This does not prove systematic racism. Where is the black or coloured players competing for, hooker, the two lock positions, scrumhalf, flyhalf, and fullback – and don’t say Zane Kircher is as good as Willie le Roux. Your argument is ultimately flawed because the examples of positions which black players are supposedly unfairly not given a chance to prove themselves in are already taken by a players of colour. JP Pietersen, Cornal Hendricks and Brian Habana play wing – same Lwazi Mvovo and de Allende. Mtawarira plays a prop, the same position as Nyakane. What does Mohoje have to do to get a game? Prove that he can play at flank and lock or 8th man like all the other loose forwards in the squad. Has he done this? No. For the rest of the examples – Elton Jantjies: are you serious? Juan de Jong – unfit and not good enough at international level. Do you even watch rugby? The answers to your queries are all on the field – nothing to do with race. Poor piece of journalism.

  23. Mli
    September 6, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    UNCLE TOM!!..yeah that’s the word i was searching for, took me an hour to find it..Lunga is an “uncle tom” I have come across brothers like him one bn Tim Dlulani who went on national radio and said ” as a black rugby player i never experienced racism” which is BS!!..I f u have played club rugby at premier league level there is no way u can boldly say “i have never experienced racism in rugby”..Development & Lack of experience are statements reserved for black players only..white players are naturally developed and experienced to walk into any Bok side..whilst the black boy holds the bags.

  24. Bradley
    September 6, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    I don’t agree with the premise of this article. You can not simply state that the lack of black players in the Springbok team is down to racism on Meyer’s part. You have no proof of this. This is simply your own conjecture. Other reasons could be SARU forcing x number of black players to be included in the squad (a là Langeveldt-gate), or simply because less starter-level players of colour have emerged in recent years. Expecting to see a steady of percentage of black players to emerge into starting spots is utterly naive. This is why statistics are considered more legitimate the larger the sample size happens to be.

    My personal opinion leans towards the former, but I’m happy to admit that this is pure conjecture on my part.

    Secondly, implying that it is racist to nickname a black player ‘Oupa’ is utter tripe. It could be argued that it is a poor show of the afrikaans coach not to make a better effort at learning the pronunciation, but it is certainly unfair to label it racism.

    This article reminds me of a similar one about cricketer Siphe Mzaidume. He left South Africa, blaming the South African cricket of being racist towards South Africans in their selection process. He has since failed to break into the domestic scene in England, and now plies his trade at the same level he did when he was in South Africa.

    Let us not always blame the non-selection of black players as racist – It is utterly unfair to imply that the coach of a national team consciously omits players based upon their colour. After all, if they don’t pick what they believe to be the best available team, they are putting their own job in jeopardy.

    • Lloyd Gedye
      Lloyd Gedye
      September 6, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

      This comment has been edited. The Con believes the use of the word non-white is racist. Defining others by the fact that they are not white is incredibly problematic

      • zakford
        September 7, 2014 at 2:24 am #

        Lloyd thanks for the article. Every player is responsible for his career. I was once a rugby player in SA and when I wasn’t given opportunity
        I headed for Europe. if these guys are not given opportunites they must leave SA and seek to play for other countries!! they owe South Africa Nothing!! I know it wont change the status quo but the athlete gets to fulfill his potential else where. for example Wandile Mjekevu is the talk of france and I believe he can play test rugby for them. My closing statement for every black rugby player is Never let anyone be the master of your career!

  25. Gerald Steyn
    September 6, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    Why is any of this relevant?! Surely we have far greater problems to address than racism in rugby… like for instance – our soccer team… what are percentages showing on whites getting chances?! Hahahah!

  26. Lady leigh
    September 6, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

    Thank you for this article! Brilliant! You utter the words of many a thoughts!!!!!!!!

  27. Chad koekemoer
    September 7, 2014 at 5:04 am #

    This is not racism I’m sorry. I do believe no matter what colour your skin if you are the best man for the job you should be picked. But you do not see articles on how white soccer are not being given opportunities to play for the national team? If you are not good enough and lose your place to someone of the other colour, do not make it a racism issue. This rugby issue, yes let the lad have a good. But no 1 just walks into the springbok Team without sitting on t he bench, no matter the colour of your skin. This is why it will take our county so long to move forward.

    • LM Biko
      September 9, 2014 at 11:45 am #

      U mean like Handre Pollard, JJ Engelbrecht, Jan Serfomtein….list is endless of white players simply walking into the team!!

  28. James Mackay
    September 7, 2014 at 5:23 am #

    This article has some fair points but is also part of the problem. Everybody is still going around calling everybody else racist. And if you think that a player should be selected for the Springboks just because he is black then you’re more part of the problem than the solution. Also you got your facts wrong about Mohoje’s nick name. If you couldn’t even find that simple story then I highly doubt your credibility on the rest this article. Mohoje will get his chance

    • Lloyd Gedye
      Lloyd Gedye
      September 7, 2014 at 6:10 am #

      Hi James, the part about Mohoje’s nickname Oupa is not factually incorrect. Please see the link in the comments

      • Josh Wadge
        September 7, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

        Some of the statements here have been ridiculous. Firstly, Meyer’s job first and foremost is to win games, which is what he is doing! Again we need to go back to the grass roots argument, maybe instead of calling the coach of the national team racist for not having enough black players in his team, we should be looking at what government is doing to bring up a larger base of quality black players?

        There was a very astute comment made in reference to Lloyd’s statement around Mvovo not getting game time, as well Nyakane , Jantjies and Kolisi. Some of these guys are playing behind black players in the team already, and some have not had good enough form to make it into the team, simple as that!

        With regards to Whiteley vs Mohoje, if anyone had bothered to actually read what is going on in the Springbok team, we needed cover for Vermuelen as Alberts was his only cover. With Alberts injured, Meyer had to bring in Whiteley. What would the repercussions be if Duane goes down 5 minutes in and we don’t have someone to play no 8 with experience. It was logical to bring in this cover duh!

        I think it is completely unfair to slate Meyer as a racist, based on your own opinion and reporting it with some fancy stats and calling it fact.

        I will say again, Heyneke’s job is to win games, not make attention seekers happy by bending the knee and picking players because of their colour. Jake White had a similar problem with SARU, when they were trying to influence his selections. He ended up winning the world cup but still got the boot.

        Why aren’t you crying about the black representation in swimming? Or tennis? Or waterpolo? or blind cricket?

        Sounds like you have an agenda OR you are just looking to create scandal and generate views for your page….

        Can’t believe I actually responded to such a bias piece of writing that doesn’t deserve the attention it is getting…..

        • Jayo8
          September 8, 2014 at 7:24 am #

          Good comment.. I didn’t have the patience to write as much.

        • blind Cricketer
          September 11, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

          Josh Wadge is statement like blind cricket for black that further lets me know how races a person are……I have read al the comments was not going to get involved in such arguments course I take no interest in SA rugby or SA sport for that matter as we have this problem of your colour still defines the opinions of you peers especially by white people. We have to be honest about these thing because it will destroy this country. If HM plays weaker opponents I dont see why not playing the younger play??

      • RodH
        September 7, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

        Hi Lloyd, good article, but I have to question your facts if you got his one wrong – Oupa got his nickname from having grey hair – here is his quote to a journalist of Media24
        Dié 23-jarige losvoorspeler, wat gister as een van die Bokke se plaasvervangers vir die kragmeting met Skotland gekies is, lag lekker as jy hom vra waar hy aan sy bynaam kom.

        “Ek was seker so nege jaar oud toe daag ek een dag ’n bietjie laat by ’n rugby-oefening op,” het hy vertel.

        “Die afrigter het my een kyk gegee en omdat ek ’n grys vlek in my hare gehad het, het hy my Oupa begin noem.”

  29. Anonymous
    September 7, 2014 at 6:24 am #

    Well then should we take a look at the Bafana Bafana national team? Hmmm

  30. James
    September 7, 2014 at 6:57 am #

    The only reason theres one white player in bafana is because most of them have rejected call ups or have taken up english citizenship.
    Once Chillyboy left the country Heyneke said he’d only pick south african based players but when morne left he made an exception. Explain that why play guys who are not natural outside centres when you have on-form sithole/De jongh Im White and I can see this guy is racist

    • Liam
      September 7, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

      He also made an exception for a black Habana (who plays his rugby in France)? But you won’t mention that because it doesn’t fit in with your argument and your desire to blame white people for your insecurities.

    • Jayo8
      September 8, 2014 at 7:29 am #

      Chilli was dropped, so was juandre kruger.

  31. Akhona
    September 7, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    Thank you very much Lloyd you have actually said what has been on my mind especially after Desmond Tutu expressed his views on the matter.

    All Lloyd is saying HM does not show faith in Black players and thats not only HMs problem but most coaches in professional rugby set-up dnt trust black players compared to how they have faith in their white counterparts. If that cannot be attributed to racism I dont know what will be. Its easy to drop a black player for loosing form compared to white players. Look at Kolisi he looses form the he is dropped while a Schalk Burger will be given an opportunity to regain his form at national team. Just some of the things that need to be highlighted.

    Am disappointed by these people that bring soccer when we debating rugby issues. It clearly means you people accepts that there are problems regarding rugby transformation but then you hiding behind soccer coz have no facts. HM IS A RACIST. HOW DO YOU PICK YOU BEST 22 AND YET YOU BRING SOMEONE FROM OUTSIDE YOUR 22 TO BE IN THE STARTING 15 AND OMITTING THE BENCHING PLAYER.

  32. Precious
    September 7, 2014 at 10:38 am #

    Great article Lloyd… Racism is still taking place in rugby, not only in the SA squad. Its everywhere!

  33. Simon
    September 7, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    The point of this article has been lost in the translation of all comments by Lunga brad Tim etc…

    Please can someone explain HOW whitely comes in and skips mohoje? How is mohoje supposed to develop and springbok level of he’s going to be carrying tackle bags all day…

  34. Hannes Nienaber
    September 7, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    Hi Lloyd, good article, but I have to question your facts if you got his one wrong – Oupa got his nickname from having grey hair – here is his quote to a journalist of Media24
    Dié 23-jarige losvoorspeler, wat gister as een van die Bokke se plaasvervangers vir die kragmeting met Skotland gekies is, lag lekker as jy hom vra waar hy aan sy bynaam kom.

    “Ek was seker so nege jaar oud toe daag ek een dag ’n bietjie laat by ’n rugby-oefening op,” het hy vertel.

    “Die afrigter het my een kyk gegee en omdat ek ’n grys vlek in my hare gehad het, het hy my Oupa begin noem.”

  35. Hein
    September 7, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    Just compare please:

    Willie vs Aplon
    De Villiers vs De Jongh
    Steyn-Pollard vs Coleman
    Pienaar vs Paige
    Vermeuleun-Coetzee vs Carr

  36. Alvizo
    September 7, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

    Great Article,the same can be said about sburu sithole he was the back up centre in the springbok squad,but when de allende got injured meyer went and chose wynand olivier,racism it its best!!

  37. viwo jack
    September 7, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

    Maybe in the national rugby team there should be place for players who are there to experience the ‘culture and traditions’ of the team. These players are deemed not yet ‘ready’ for international games. I could and cannot understand why Teboho was overlooked while being part of the touring squad and why Warren was called up. Does the PR team of coach owe us answers to this or should we just accept.

  38. Frank
    September 7, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

    My problem with this quota system is that instead of just playing players for the sake of transformation why not create a platform for players such as Mohoje where they can take their case to. A platform where they can voice their grievances and their cases can be investigated and solved. The system does it work but players like Mohoje does not get their chances.

  39. kat
    September 7, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    Lloyd thank you for the insightful piece, its clear as day that transformation in the bok team is not going to take place anytime soon. As a black man I’m immensely proud of the Springboks as I live abroad and seeing the boys walk out to give it their all for the green and gold reminds me why I’ve taken the decision to give up on our national soccer team. There is one indictment upon SARU, giving the black players enough play time to prove themselves. If they don’t prove themselves than it justifies HM overlooking them for real game time.

  40. Bandi
    September 7, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

    I’d like to address this Bafana white players issue. The comments are obviously from people who do not follow SA football. First off, “white teams” play in their own league outside of the SAFA structures. They have the so-called Super league which mimics the old Easterns and Southerns Football associations. So Ranburg, Sporting (Rosetttenville), Balfour Supersport, etc would play against each other- and not play against teams from Alex for example. In SAFA structures the lowest league mirrors municipal boundaries, then the ABC Motsepe league is provincial, the First Division and Premier league are national. So if Randburg won their Super League they would have to play in the SAB league and end up with Sunday fixtures in the townships. One of two things happens here: either they forfeit their playoffspot or bus in some township players to play for the “professional wing” while the other team continues in the Super League. By the time you reach the ABC Motsepe League (third level) the make-up of teams is predominantly black. N opportunities are denied here, it’s simply a choice. I went through a similar situation with a team in Eastern Joburg.

    My contention is that the Bafana situation is out of choice.

  41. RodH
    September 7, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    Add Bismarck Du Plessis to that mix! For how many YEARS did he have to wait for game time behind John Smit! For years that he was benching he was regarded as the worlds best hooker!!!

    Must have been racism there as well I guess???

    Just a thought! Use it! Don’t use it!

  42. mr will
    September 7, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

    Well I think some ppl need to re read and then try to comment,lloyd its a very great article,as proudly south africans we would like everybody thts on form to have a fair chance,spesicific when he is part of the sqaud.

  43. TDC
    September 7, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

    Great Article Lloyd. Meyer is a short sighted coach and it must be told. At this rate he shall put the 2007 Worldcup winning team next year.

  44. Jayo8
    September 8, 2014 at 6:55 am #


    You speak from quite high up in terms of your knowledge in rugby.
    Maybe that’s your fault in everything you write/say.
    Selection is not a simple process. And no selection should come with conditions. It’s what the coach feels is right at the time.
    Every player in the world has been left out of teams before. It’s part of the game.
    You writing articles to force someone’s hand is not doing oupa any favours.
    Understand sport and racism before you write something on both.
    Other than that try do some good and write about the rhinos.

  45. Justin
    September 8, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    Most rubbish article and waste of time…

  46. Champ
    September 8, 2014 at 9:08 am #

    Lloyd, you are such an idiot!!

  47. Saffie
    September 8, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    I am truly sorry but I do not agree with this article…….Rugby is our only sport that we have a chance to win a World Cup and major competitions…….the reason Meyer brought some players back is due to the fact that their experience are need in some positions…..I am not being funny but I believe that the best blacks in their position are in the Springbok team…..yes their is guys playing well in Currie Cup etc but playing international is completely different……you mentioned De Jongh, Kolisi, Nyakane…..shows me how much you actually follow rugby and know about the game…..Kolisi has not been at the top of his game this whole season…he sometimes dont even make the WP starting line?!?!? What about Carr, no he is very good but unfortunately the flankers we have in the Bok team at the moment are brilliant…why is no one moaning about poor Deon Fourie that is playing amazing rugby and never got looked at…..its because we have better players in his position…end off! If you remember correctly Nyakane had his chance and what happens, he dont even pitch up for a video session on his first time with the Boks – and this is acceptable cos he is black?!?!? SARU is going to screw up the only sport we still good at and its disgusting! No wonder so many youngsters go overseas as they know whats happening here…….why not also turn the Bafana Bafana team into 50% whites then?!?!!? I am sorry to say but it will never stop until this country is ruined by people trying to chance history (apartheid) which will never happen…….but hey SARU if you want the sprinboks becoming a laughing stock like Bafana Bafana then go for it! I do not care if the Bok team is all white or all blacks as long as the best player in his position plays!!

    • RodH
      September 8, 2014 at 11:07 am #

      Wait till the SPONSORS pull the plug on SA rugby!!!!!!!

    • Adri
      September 8, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

      I completely agree with thi entire arcticle!!!

  48. Qondakele
    September 8, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    Lloyd thank you so much for this well researched and written article. Whilst all these rugby romantics and Heyneke’s cheerleaders defend him here, quality of Springbok rugby is deteriorating in catastrophic proportions.

    • Anthony
      September 8, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

      Move to Australia Qondakele!

  49. leslie
    September 8, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    thnx for this article…well said

  50. Dine
    September 8, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    Thank you for putting into words, with concrete facts, what I’ve been struggling to express when friends and foe ask me why I don’t watch the Boks play anymore. I just can’t deal with the disappointment that Springbok rugby is yet again moving in the wrong direction. I”m a fan and no expert but in the bigger picture I fear for the coming World cup. Will we be able to say we sent the best team?

    • champ
      September 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

      You guys all claim that you do not support the Boks and and and… But whenever you refer to them, you use the word ‘we’? Why is that?

  51. Loyiso
    September 8, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    Great article Lloyd, for the first time I was supporting Australia and I’m grateful we got beaten. I’m further hoping that we lose the next 3 games. Should HM survive to the WC I’ll be support “Any team playing against the Boks”. I hope they thumped by the AB this coming weekend.

    • Anthony
      September 8, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

      Loyiso – why don’t you move to Australia? We don’t need you here.

  52. Adri
    September 8, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    I want to make use of this privilege to respond to the junk Lloyd Gedye think will be best for our consumption deservedly so. A privilege I first thought not to make use of by responding to his spewed diarrhoea. It is because Mahoje and most blacks does not get selected on merit, but on basis of transformation and skin colour. If you really look into the provincial teams, there are not enough black players. How do you select below-average black players and expect to win? We want to win!!! We don’t want to watch a colourful team dancing around on the field. We want to win!!! SA Rugby has an extremely high winning rate to uphold. And its ridiculous and almost impossible to keep to that high standard if players are selected on skin colour or transformation. Transformation will take place. Its not a process that will take place over night. More and more black players WILL become interested in rugby over the years. But you want to squeeze lemon juice out of a rock!!! Rugby is not only about player selection, its about combinations. Lloyd its clear, you don’t know much about rugby. You are the one who is racist!!! You are racist against whites!!! Please focus half of your time on transformation in soccer also, where there are NO transformation taking place. Oh yes, and just a reminder, Heyneke Meyer is not the entire selection board. Yes, players gets selected by a board, not just the coach. Before you start writing an article, please investigate the topic first and don’t just write any crap that comes to mind.

  53. Allan
    September 8, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    Great article. Let me say this, if you think the black players in this article are not in the team because they are black or because of H M. There are many top white rugby players who are also being selected to the Springboks and don’t get game time. That is the reason so many white rugby players , with potential to be Springboks , play for Foreign teams. So , please look @ the big picture, not the black picture only. As for Tutu, ask him why the Dalai Lama , was refused a visa to SA. That’s his accountability.

  54. Mike
    September 8, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

    I get that everyones getting all worked up about this. But I thought of another idea.(Not trying to be racist so please try not to give too much deconstructive comments). The Maori all blacks(not New Zealand) is a team that consists only of native “maoris”. Its actually where the official nz team got the haka from. But on to my point. It is only natives that play for them and they get international exposure, okay not quite as much as the main nz team but international experience none the less. I think they can do this with south africa too. after the bok team has been announced have another team of black players chosen, give them international game experience against smaller countries such as fiji etc. And in that way they will still be developing as players at a higher level than what they would have been(eg @ currie cup). Let me know your thoughts on this.

  55. Pete
    September 8, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

    All these extremely talented Black players only missing out on Springbok rugby due to racism, and nothing else as the author contends, must be making a fortune abroad (like many a talented white player who failed for years to get a chance). Oh wait…the whole rugby world must be racist.

  56. Fish
    September 8, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

    Hahahaha! What a load of rubbish. How can someone write about selection and systematic racism in rugby who clearly has no knowledge of sport?! White guilt is BORING.

  57. Anthony
    September 8, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

    YAWN! For every example of racism and racist behaviour chundered in this sad article I can think of two or three equally talented white players who are also side-lined for exactly the same reason – NOT GOOD ENOUGH. DO SOME RESEARCH YOU CLOWN!

  58. Dave
    September 8, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

    Sick of this bloody racism s$&t there is no racism going on in soccer you don’t see 50%black 50%white no it’s only black players that get chosen there wish you people will stop with this crap and ruin rugby in SA a player deserves his chance on how he plays not over your skin colour if you good enough you will make it to the top and get a chance you people need to wake up really and stop playing the racism card

    • Henry
      September 9, 2014 at 6:49 am #

      I am really worried about what articles like this do to our kids. I hear the reasoning in this article and I respect that. Being a rugby coach at school level at one of the top school in the country I would like to say that this article is spreading racism all over again. Most of the rugby players were born after apartheid. They are friends and play for each other. They give each other nicknames and laugh about it. It is a slap in the face of every talented coloured and black player that is worthy of their place in a team that is selected on skill !

      Lloyd will you please write an article on SA Soccer and racism. Please take in concideration how they perform. You are such a good writer. Please pop me an e-mail to when you post it.

  59. Mike
    September 9, 2014 at 5:06 am #

    I think it is quite unfair to call Heyneke racist, that is a strong word to use against someone who has one of the toughest and criticized jobs in South Africa. Yes i agree more black players need a chance, but it goes much deeper than just Heyneke calling the shots. While reading the article i found no mention of Ndungane, who with Habana were the two starting wings for the bulls under Heyneke. Also to mention, starting for the bokke on a number of occasions. I do not dispute this article, just feel to much passion, and too little thought has gone into it.

  60. Katta
    September 9, 2014 at 6:28 am #

    This whole article was written by a racist idiot!!!! I got so angry i didnt finish reading half of it… i would personally want to tell the author in his face words that is best not written here…. from chester williams, beast, habana, peterson,de jong, floors,kirchner, bobo,jantjies and many more were awesome springboks and contributed a lot to the team. Where the difference come in between whites and blacks in rugby is at schoolboy level. We start teaching black kids to play rugby in grade 8. Where most white kids started playing at ages 5,6,7. That is a 7-9 year experience advantage. So wake the hell up !!!! Start teaching black kids rugby at same ages and maybe we will have more black springboks!!!!! This should not be a race issue!!!! Springboks should be chosen on skills and abilities and perfomances!!! Doesnt matter where you come from and the colour of your skin!!!!!
    I think i have said enough…
    From the white coach that coaches the black kids to play rugby!!!! Hope you have a awesome day racist!!!!!

  61. Nkululeko
    September 9, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    Loyd this was honest and truthful. Funny how I thought this article was done by a black journo and I am asking myself is Lunga is a white guy with a black name.

  62. Mike
    September 9, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    Mohoje has played one season of super rugby in the a country with some of the best loose forwards in the world. Few players have gone straight from super rugby to springboks. Its hard surprising then that he has not got a spot in the last few matches. What is more Marcell Coetzee actually played really well out of position. Whitely also covers all 3 loose forward positions, has more experience and has captained the lions.

    Mvovo is not out because he is black. The other 2 wings are Habana and Hendricks.

    Nyakane was shifted out due to disciplnary issues and is back in now.

    De Allende (one of my favourite players) was in at centre, taking away places for Juan de Jongh and S’bura

    Siya Kolisi has been out because his form has been in question. He wasn’t even starting for the stormers. Out for Nizaam.

    JP Pietersen is out because of club commitments

    Zane Kirchner is out for le Roux who is possibly the best fullback in the world or at least way better than Kirchner

    Guthrö Steenkamp was given a chance and was found wanting in the scrummaging department against Argentina

    Bjorn Basson has recently come back from injury and once again is out for habana and le roux.

    Gio Aplon is out for the same reason as Basson for wing, he is not better than le Roux and HM considers him too small to play at national level. Not a racist decision.

    Elton was not the best flyhalf at Province let alone in the country. He is a prospect and after a stint overseas might be a prospect but not now.

  63. A Joubert
    September 9, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

    What about all the white players never getting a chance because of the kwota system? This is bullshit, choose the best players and let them play! Forget about color! The first black man played for the springboks in the 1980′s (Tobias). Thats 34years back! Current players all had the same chance at school and varsity so theres no need for kwota systems anymore! If I go on the field I don’t care who is playing next to me, if we are wearing the same jersey, we are brothers! You are killing the game with all this nonsense, thats why we can’t beat the All Blacks! We are so busy with politics and of the field crap!! Rather back your boytjies and play!

  64. Jamie
    September 9, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

    This article is essentially a rant filled with buzzwords and emotive language (as articles of this length addressing issues of this importance tend to be). You’ve completely polarised an issue which is, I dare say, a lot more complicated than you’ve made it out to be – it wreaks of partiality.

    You sound like someone who has decided that Meyer is a racist (indeed that the whole selection process is systematically racist) based on some kind of anecdotal evidence which has made you angry and only then you’ve gone and looked up facts to support your view. I mean what does a racist high school coach’s lack of effort in learning his player’s name (and apparently therefore irrefutably racist character) have to do with Heyneke Meyer? Nothing. So why is it in the article? Are you trying to say that all white rugby coaches are racist? Are you saying Mohoje has been victimised his entire life by a whole bunch of racist white people? Or are you relying on a stereotype of white Afrikaner racism as a rhetorical device to stir up emotion, sir? PS your supersport article seems to imply he was given the name in grade three, not by his ‘high school coach’ then?

    It’s not even clear that this teacher was racist: consider for example, that the coach might have thought it disrepectful to mispronounce someone’s name, and therefore chose instead to correctly pronounce a nickname which is actually thoughtful and (dare I say it) affectionate and which, as several people commented and as the Supersport article (in its completely anecdotal fashion) itself implies, makes a lot of sense and ISN’T just arbitrarily racist. To you, that incident is racist because you’ve already decided that white rugby coaches are inherently racist. (I dare you to refute this paragraph without saying “oh come on!”, or “You can’t reaaally believe that”)

    You’ve clearly got a case to make, but you haven’t presented facts that are relevant to your argument. I would’ve loved to know the following: how many black players are playing in the Currie cup and South African super 15 teams at the moment? what is the penetration of rugby in black communities versus white communities? How have these numbers evolved in the past 20 years? Under how much pressure has each coach come under to implement ‘transformation’ from SARU? Has it changed from coach to coach?

    And if you don’t want to put a fundamentally historical issue in historical perspective…

    then why don’t you give us objective facts with which we can actually COMPARE rugby players instead of just arbitrarily claiming who should and shouldn’t be in or out of the team and then hoping people’s intuitions will match yours. Why don’t you collect some useful data on player performance and present it to us, for example: tackles made per game, success rate of tackles, distance covered, successful runs, successful passes, turnovers created, penalties conceded, disciplinary records, line-out success rates etc…
    (is it because this might grey your black and white perspective and prevent you from making unsubstantiated claims? God forbid.)

    The only stats you have given us are caps awarded in relationship to the colour of players skin (along with a couple of accolades won by Mohoje). Maybe if you weren’t so dismissive of “some kind of argument about merit” or the comment about grass roots rugby, you might have considered linking player performance to selection (God forbid). Rugby is culturally a whites dominated sport in the same way that soccer is dominated by blacks. Yes, we want a more representative team, but as your other highly quoted article written by Archbishop Tutu says: “not on the basis of quotas or affirmative action or window dressing, but on merit [get that - MERIT...the archbishop himself!] and for our long-term well-being as a nation”.

    I dare you to write an article with relevant, objective and therefore comparable facts about player performance – current player performance. If this isn’t the point of the article then I’m afraid to say there seems to be very little point to the article at all.

  65. Teboho
    September 9, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

    It is a real sad story and it seems Meyer is not about to change his mind. I sometimes even feel like one has to play for Blue Bulls in order to be selected let alone starting berth. Remember Robert Ebersohn and now Marcel van der Merwe just leapfrogged Trevor Nyakane just like that?
    It looks like Heyneke Meyer really uses the Bulls and Sharks franchise to supress Cheetahs,province, etc…

    • champ
      September 10, 2014 at 7:10 am #

      Ebersohn leapfrogged Nyakane?? You sure you know what youre talkig about??

  66. Ryno
    September 11, 2014 at 9:02 am #

    Great article Lloyd, apart from the subtle contradictions I believe it to be executed fairly well. Your stance on grass roots is however incorrect and to state that grass roots is irrelevant to international rugby standards is, dare I say, naïve.

    I have bought tickets to the 4th of Oct match against the All Blacks. To be honest I don’t care whether it is the All Blacks against the “All Blacks”, as long as there is some good rugby on show.

  67. Ryno
    September 11, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    P.s. Lloyd any good researcher/journo listing statistics should list sources. ;)

  68. LS
    September 11, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    To back up your arguement I draw one basic analogy.
    The most successful South African team in the 2014 Super Rugby Competition were the Sharks.
    A team that feautred: Mtwarirwa, Tira Mthembu, Sbu Sithole, Lwazi Mvovo, Tonderai Chivanga. I’m not saying that the best players are black- I am saying that the best players should play.
    Springboks have even gone to the extent of playing F.Hougaard at Wing a decision that Hougaard even condemned, stating that “playing him at wing is merely halting Mvovo’s career.”
    The chance that Pollard is getting, The chances F.Steyn, Pat Lambie and every other white Bok to be given a chance at a tender young age: No black South African rugby player will ever get such an opportunity.
    I’ll remind you of one Wandile Mjekevu !!! He was the best high school rugby player in SOUTH AFRICA in 2008. To show how great could have been, Mjakes scored 3 tries in 2009 against the Chiefs in NZ. 1 injury and he was kicked to the curbs of SA Rugby. He was never given an opportunity to get back from injury and excel.
    Watch him lead the French to a 6 Nations trophy next year.

    I love the Boks more than I do Bafana Bafana or even the Proteas. But I am naïve to the reality that its for unskilled and one dimensional White South African rugby players-

  69. Stephan
    September 11, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

    It’s articles like this that upsets people. Why do you want to change a winning recipe?? I am all for non-white players to wear the green and gold, but then they must be good enough!!! Its also not as simple as being good enough. Look at Schalk Brits for example. Being one of the best hookers in the world, being praised by European clubs, being chosen in the group but gets minimal game time. Don’t let the pride of this country become a bloody political stunt. Stop bringing everything back to racism… In 2019 SARU wants more than 50% of the Springboks to be of colour….WHY? Will you then write of the white players that are good enough and not playing? Where in the world is this a reality? Shocking!

    Lloyed – Not a fan my boy. Maybe email this to the Watsons.

  70. Andy
    September 11, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    I couldn’t even make it to the end of this article…it’s like one massive whinge with much effort put into counting caps of black players versus white players , and seemingly no stats from the feeder school for the Springboks, (and the toughest rugby competition there is) The Super XV.

    I am one of those who saw Oupa as a surprise call up in the first place. It’s great that he was awarded player of tournament for varsity cup and free state player of the year. But receiving a call up to the Boks after 6 caps?? If you’d watched any Super XV you wouldn’t dare but Mohoje above Whiteley. No one in their right mind would after the season Whiteley has had.

    Tell me, if Heyneke is racist, why is Cornal Hendricks starting every match? Perhaps you should ask that qualified source you used, Desmond Tutu?

    Nice choice in rugby source with the Desmond Tutu quotes :)

  71. Horings
    September 23, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

    Your conclusions based on your small sample stats are shaky to say the least. And it is clear that some stats were shown, because it backs your argument while other were discarded.

    For instance, you compare the stats of 3 coaches and make a conclusion that “Meyer doesn’t back black South Africa rugby players”.

    Let us define the most important games of each coach. The 2007 World Cup final, the 2011 World Cup Quarter final and Meyer’s SA vs Aus 2014 Newlands test (If he loses this one, then he will be under even more pressure).

    Jake capped 15 POC in his tenure and when it came to picking them for the most important game of his career, he picked 2 in his 22. Therefore, he backed 13% of his POC. Bryan Habana and JP Pietersen.

    PdV capped 12 POC, of all those only 1 player was in the match day 22 against Aus in that Quarter Final and he did not even get on the pitch. In effect, he therefore picked 0% of his POC he capped. Moving to Saturday’s game against Aus, which is probably Meyer’s most important game thus far (or at least close to the game against NZ next week). According to statements in the press, Hendricks and Mohoje will start, while Nyakane and de Allende will be on the bench. He therefore backs 67% of his POC. Now, that is a pretty damning stat, for the other coaches.

  72. Landolph
    October 27, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    Lloyd i believe if a player is good enough to play springbok he should be given an opportunity. I wouldn’t care if the whole springbok team is black as long as they win. It is obvious that rugby is mostly played by white people and that they are more developed players. You are an idiot for thinking that the springbok head coach is a racist. He doesnt care about colour. You don’t play rugby. You probably never have. So keep your thoughts about this to yourself. People like you only make the problem worse.

  73. enrico
    May 5, 2015 at 9:52 am #

    I have always been of the view that South African rugby is a racist affair and our government is not really doing enough to promote transformation in that sports code. We have for the past 21 years seen cosmetic transformation leaving black players to play only in the last 15 minutes of an international game.

  74. enrico
    May 5, 2015 at 9:53 am #

    In the light of the aforesaid I cannot support the Springboks.


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