CAPE TOWN – SA Rugby President Mark Alexander has admitted there is “still lots more to do” in regards to transformation in rugby, but “we will get there”.
Alexander was speaking at the launch of the “Black Rugby History A to Z” digital exhibit at the Springbok Experience rugby museum at the V&A Waterfront on Thursday.
The digital installation – developed with the help of funding from the National Lotteries Commission – serves as the first public display of the history of black rugby, and is part of an ambitious project to collate the often ‘hidden’ history of black rugby in South Africa until the sport’s unification in 1992.
It was attended by Saru legends such as Faiek “Blatjang” Hendricks, William Diba, Ebrahim Rinquest (Saru captain 1957), Broadness Cona, Ismail Schroeder, Fagmie Solomons, Cassiem Jabaar, Irvin October, Tariq Britton and other luminaries.
“We only see one side of South African rugby. There is no history of the non-racial Saru. There is no history of South African federation rugby. It looks like we only started playing yesterday.
If you take Transvaal where I come from, we celebrated our centenary. It is older than the current Golden Lions Board. We need to capture it, otherwise that history will just fall away. This is the start of that process,” Alexander told the media.
Alexander also stressed that the exhibit was part of healing old wounds, but also part of the future, especially in relation to Saru’s mission to make the Springboks a brand that the entire nation can be proud of.
“There is still lots more that we need to do. We always get blamed for not doing enough, but we will get there. (Springbok coach) Rassie (Erasmus) has done a wonderful job in regards to transformation. He has picked the most (Black) players ever.
We have a Black Springbok captain. And all those players deserve to be there. They are not quota players. Nobody can name one player that doesn’t deserve to be there,” Alexander said.