Stransky blames system for SA Rugby's woes

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 16:03
Large joel stransky 800

NEWS: Springbok legend Joel Stransky says there needs to be drastic changes if South African Rugby is to compete with the best in the world again.

The Springboks are no longer feared on the international after some embarrassing defeats in 2015 and 2016.

Last year the Boks suffered their first-ever defeat to Argentina [in Durban] before suffering further embarrassment went Japan upset them in the group stages of last year's World Cup in England.

In 2016, the Boks suffered their first-ever home loss to Ireland before losing to Argentina in Salta in an awful Rugby Championship campaign.

Last weekend the Boks went down 15-57 to the All Blacks at Kings Park in Durban, which was a record defeat against their old foes as well as a record defeat at home on the international stage.

Under Allister Coetzee, the Boks have only won four out of nine games in the 2016 season so far and Stransky believes the rot starts at the bottom. 

"You cannot look at 2016 in isolation, it is a problem that has been coming for some time and you need to look at the game holistically from grassroots level to the top," Stransky told Reuters.

"The kids coming out of school do not have the same skill-set as in other countries or are as well coached. The education system plays a major role in that.

"The next level is where the system really fails, from South African Rugby down. The [14] unions are not focused on the Springboks being the best team in the world, they are focused on winning the Currie Cup, winning promotion to the Premier Division or succeeding in Super Rugby."

Stransky believes the playing talent is also being diluted because of the country having more teams in Super Rugby than rivals Australia and New Zealand. 

"It means players are leaving in droves for contracts overseas, further weakening local teams," he said. 

"If you come through that weak system, you become a weak player."

A lack of talented coaches is another problem that Stransky identified for South Africa’s fall from grace.

"To be frank, in some instances, we have got a bunch of inexperienced, amateur coaches leading our top domestic sides," he said.

"There appears to be no long-term plan, no mentorship and little goes into improving coaching structures. Something needs to change."

Source: Reuters