The South African Rugby Union (Saru) has confirmed it will introduce a new quota system in domestic rugby in an attempt to see more black talent emerge.
From next year, all 14 Vodacom Cup teams will be required to pick a minimum of seven black players in their match-day squad of 22 players, two of whom must be forwards.
A minimum of five black players will be required to start the match.
The initiative was taken by Saru’s executive council on Monday, before the provincial unions had an opportunity to discuss the new rule changes yesterday.
“This decision to introduce measurable targets underlines Saru’s commitment to transformation,” Saru president Oregan Hoskins said today.
“The Vodacom Cup is a critical step on the development pathway in professional rugby but it had moved away from its primary purpose of presenting opportunities for young emerging players, particularly black players.”
According to Saru, the numbers were determined in line with the rugby body’s global transformation strategy, having reviewed historical levels of black representation in the competition.
“All the 14 provinces recognised that fact [that more emerging players of colour were needed] and that we needed to address it as a strategic objective at our transformation indaba last year,” Hoskins added.
“The intended outcome is an increased pool of black talent from which Currie Cup and Vodacom Super Rugby coaches can select, and in due course more options for the Springbok coach.”
Saru CEO Jurie Roux said no sanctions had been specified, should a province fail to select the required numbers of black players.
He said the issue, along with other operational matters around the policy, would be addressed by Saru’s games and policy committee later in the year.
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