SA Rugby president Mark Alexander is impressed by the strides made on the transformation front in the local game.
“We’re starting to reap the rewards of the of the programmes we’ve implemented. You can see that the players are now coming through the system naturally,” Alexander told Netwerk24.
The Sharks and Stormers have been the most transformed teams in Super Rugby this year, with the Afrikaans publication reporting that the Cape side averaged 10.7 players of colour in their 23-man squads and the Sharks 9.7.
The Sharks’ average in their starting team is 7.7 and the Stormers 7.5.
The Bulls and Lions’ average in their 23-man squads is 7.3, but 5.8 and 4.8 respectively in their starting XVs.
Alexander added that SA Rugby was on the right path in transforming the game and said the successes at last year’s World Cup – where a black captain in Siya Kolisi lifted the trophy – would continue to provide a boost.
“You just needed to look at the interaction between the players at the World Cup, it was unbelievable. We reached maturity as a nation and we’ve reached a point where these things are happening naturally.
“Rassie (Erasmus, Springbok coach at the World Cup) did magnificent work and understood his mandate.”
With Super Rugby now suspended due to the coronavirus, it leaves the Sharks atop the overall standings with six wins from seven matches.
The Stormers (four out of six) are sixth, while the Bulls and Lions lie 12th and 13th respectively with only one win from six outings.
It remains unclear whether the tournament will resume but if that proves to be the case, it will likely be a reduced format.
– Compiled by Sport24 staff