Five months after their magnificent Rugby World Cup triumph, Siya Kolisi and his Springbok teammates will talk viewers through the final as part of a Freedom Day rugby special on SuperSport.
The players and new Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber will lend fresh perspective to a win that continues to endure and inspire, with the programme starting at 15h30 on SuperSport 1.
Said Nienaber: “The Freedom Day RWC special on SuperSport will give the viewers an incredible opportunity to relive those memorable moments in Springbok history.
“It is something not to be missed. Those three RWC final wins will demonstrate so powerfully what we as South Africans can achieve when we are #StrongerTogether.”
The big block of World Cup programming will begin at 06h30 on Monday morning with a show celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Boks’ maiden World Cup win in 1995, produced in 2015.
This will be book-ended by the broadcast of Invictus, the Clint Eastwood film starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon that captured the remarkable Rugby World Cup winning tale of 1995.
BROADCAST DETAILS (all on SS1)
06h30: 20th anniversary documentary of 1995 RWC win
08h30: 2007 RWC win
10h30: Highlights of RWC 2019
12h00: RWC 2019 – SA group matches
15h30: 2019 RWC ReLived
19h00: Glory Game – The Joost van der Westhuizen story
Issued by SA Rugby Communications and SuperSport
Its been long touted that club rugby is moving in a semi-pro structure whereby players are paid a minimum wage or match fees. In some quarters this has been happening for a very long time, where top clubs around South Africa and the rest of the world lure the best players with high incentives as a dangling carrot.
Is this the way forward, or are we oppressing clubs with limited resources and are we moving into a direction where the elite clubs will continue to grow at the expense of the smaller clubs who are tantalizingly facing a demise. Gareth Davies of the Welsh Rugby Union wrote “But please, dear clubs, I implore you let us start again with the right structure. If no club offers payment, then there will be no market for player wage and no club will feel the need. If no club breaks the ranks and we all play for enjoyment, for our town or village of birth, for the club with whom we hold the strongest affinity, with our friends and neighbours, our extended families and our children, then no club will suffer the same threat of oblivion that is currently being felt in some quarters if a similar crisis were to strike again”
He further states “Don’t pay players. Play in the league you are in, strive to beat the opposition you face, dream of lifting the trophies available at your current standard and attract the players who are drawn to your club. Use the money you save on attracting, developing and engaging players for future or on ensuring your club remains the central hub of your community that it has always been. Be sustainable and help safeguard the future for us all”.
Whilst club structures are changing and clubs becoming semi-pro, while this is good and well in an ideal world, one needs to face burning facts. Most club players do not have a stable job that pays enough to provide for their families. The match fees act as a bridge to cover that gap. Players are also expected to be fit to perform at their optimum, yet we no gym fees is paid by clubs. The match fees can help in that regard as well. Most club players are unemployed, clubs expect them to practice every day, with lots of players staying far without transport. The issue of paying for rugby boots and other playing equipment like mouth guards, shoulder pads, etc. comes at a very high cost, match fees can bridge that gap. Even players that is working, most must take leave on a Friday and Saturday to attend matches as at times travelling is far. The Gold Cup is a perfect example, even normal league matches, travelling is an issue for someone who knocks off at 1pm on a Saturday and must still play at 3pm.
These are conversations that must take place in rugby circles. To weigh up the facts, whether its in the best interest of our communities or are we moving into a global direction where sport have become more commercial with the highest bidders investing in their clubs and is generally more successful. Success is not achieved over-night, but proper structures
and planning is also vital.
Does money buy success. Despatch Rugby club ruled Eastern Province Rugby at a point and time with huge financial backers. Crusaders is another example, they were one of the top clubs, playing at the lushy St Georges Park. At a point African Bombers had the same, with sponsors like Puma in the closet. Of late top Uitenhage clubs in Progress have Calbis and Gardens driven by MultiSure Corporation. Border Club East London Police had Just On Cosmetics. For years Old Selbornians had huge backers like your Nashua, Mike Pendock Motors. It’s no secret that Swallows have been holding the monopoly the last couple of years through their financial backers. We can name a lot of clubs like your Rustenburg Impala, False Bay Rugby Club, Durban Rovers and many many more. But when the money dries up, the players vanish and so does the success. It’s a well-known fact that players have no loyalty. It is conversation like these, that will go a long way in establishing in what direction our club rugby is heading.
The rugby industry has agreed in principle a wide-ranging plan to cut between R700 million to R1 billion from its budget over the next eight months to ensure the post-COVID-19 viability of the sport through an Industry Financial Impact Plan (IFIP).
The Plan has been agreed in a united strategy formulated in discussions including representatives from all stakeholders: SA Rugby; provincial unions; players and rugby industry employees. The plan incorporates the Industry Salary Plan (ISP) which will see a united and collective approach towards salary reductions.
The economies will be achieved by reduced expenditure caused by the cancellation of competitions, cuts in other operational budgets and in salary reductions.
“Many businesses find themselves in a fight for survival and rugby is no different,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
“We face an extremely threatening crisis and we had to take united and decisive action to address it head on.
“I’d like to commend the employees, players and the unions for the collaborative and realistic way they have approached this crisis. We are all in this together and we all quickly agreed that we have to equally contribute to the solution.”
Roux said that the salary reductions had been agreed in principle by the collective and were now being communicated to those effected before final approval through the various governance channels of SA Rugby, MyPlayers, Sports Employees Unite and the individual unions.
“Our income is tied to the playing of professional rugby and without matches we potentially don’t have any income,” said Roux. “We don’t know when we will be able to resume the season so have had to budget against a range of scenarios.
“This Industry Financial Impact Plan has been formulated against a worst-case scenario where we are not able to resume play for the rest of the year. It means we face a major belt-tightening exercise on a sport-wide and personal level; but without these measures we wouldn’t have much of a sport to return to.”
The Industry Financial Impact Plan is scheduled to run until the end of December in the first instance.
Rugby and COVID-19 timeline
Issued by SA Rugby Communications
SA Rugby has confirmed the cancellation of a number of events and continued contingency planning for others in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic it was announced on Tuesday, following extensive consultation between members of the local rugby industry.
“These are unprecedented times, not only for rugby in South Africa, but across all spheres of life all over the globe,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
“Unfortunately, we had to make some very tough calls in terms of our local competitions, but we have the buy-in and support from the local franchises and unions, SAREO, MyPlayers and our broadcaster, SuperSport, in this regard.
“The decision to cancel certain competitions and tournaments is in line with what has been happening across various sporting codes all over the world – we are not shielded from this in South Africa.
“In terms of other teams’ participation in certain competitions, and the hosting of other tournaments, we are currently on a return to train and play readiness plan, but this is dependent on Government advice and decisions as the pandemic evolves.”
The tournaments which are still part of the planning for 2020, are:
Furthermore, the participation of the SA Rugby Sevens Academy and Springbok Women’s Sevens teams will be evaluated as international borders reopen and new dates are received for the World Series Qualifiers for 2020.
The following tournaments and competitions have been cancelled for 2020:
All club and community rugby is still postponed until further notice and SA Rugby reiterated its plea to all clubs, teams, players and coaches to adhere to the lockdown rules.
Issued by SA Rugby Communications
All elements of the South African rugby ‘industry’ have come together in an unprecedented act of unity to prepare a long-term strategy to combat the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Employers, players, staff and SA Rugby have combined in business continuity planning aimed at cost saving in the face of expected shortfall in revenues.
The plan has been formulated in a joint working group (the COVID-19 Management Committee) including SA Rugby, the South African Rugby Employers’ Organisation (SAREO), MyPlayers (representing the players) and Sports Employees’ Unite (SEU – the rugby staffs’ trade union).
The Committee’s joint proposal has begun a round of presentations to union presidents and CEOs as well as through the MyPlayers and SEU channels.
“We have workshopped a number of scenarios based on potential return-to-play dates and identified the most likely financial scenario based on rugby resuming in the third quarter of 2020,” said Jurie Roux, the CEO of SA Rugby.
“The industry came together virtually on day one of this crisis to frame a united response.
“This is not an SA Rugby problem or a unions’ problem, it is everyone’s problem and we are very clear that we have to stand together if we are to overcome it.
“The progression and response to the virus unfolds on a daily basis so we do not have a confirmed domestic or international calendar for the rest of 2020, but we have made plans for every eventuality.
“Returning to play as soon as possible is critical for the industry and until we know what that date is – and if it is sustainable in the face of the crisis – we cannot accurately understand the impacts.
“However, we have taken a realistic approach to the potential damage and have formulated a plan that will mitigate the immediate damage and provide the basis for an on-going response.”
Once approved the plan would be made public, said Roux.
“These are dark times but we are united in our approach and determined that together we will get through this.”
The grouping urged the rugby community to strictly observe the lockdown directives of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Timeline: COVID-19 and South African Rugby
Issued by SA Rugby Communications
In a ground-breaking initiative piloted by SA Rugby’s Rugby Department, the Springbok and Blitzbok coaches have started to share their expertise online and in real time with a large number of coaches across the country, during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
The pilot online coaching webinar was launched on Wednesday, when Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids hosted an interactive presentation to 80 schools coaches.
On Friday, the second webinar in the series was hosted by Ashley Evert, the Blitzboks’ Team Manager and a former SA Under-20 and Vodacom Blue Bulls forwards coach, who conducted a lineout throwing session.
The coaches dialled into the 65-minute online sessions from within the comforts of their homes from all over South Africa. The presentations lasted approximately 45 minutes and were followed by 20-minute interactive Q&A sessions.
Over the course of the next three weeks, Rassie Erasmus (Director of Rugby), Jacques Nienaber (Springbok coach), Neil Powell (Blitzbok coach) and both national teams’ assistant coaches will take turns to present their area of expertise with the group of coaches.
Erasmus praised the initiative as a breakthrough in their effort to communicate simultaneously, and on a large scale, with local coaches across South Africa.
“Hilton Adonis (Manager: Training and Education) and Louis Koen (Manager: High Performance Programmes), as well as their other colleagues who worked hard behind the scenes, must be commended for getting this initiative off the ground,” said Erasmus.
“The pilot webinar was a great success and created a lot of excitement among the coaches. This platform will enable us to continue with the training and education of our coaches even though we are in a period of self-isolation at the moment.”
According to Adonis, online coaching was earmarked as a key priority for 2020, and that their plans to rolling out the web-based seminars were now accelerated by the national lockdown.
“We realized last year that formal learning, complimented with online presentations, is really the way of the future and we therefore planned to roll out a series of online seminars throughout the year,” said Adonis.
“The national period of isolation has opened an opportunity for us to launch a series of pilot coaching seminars, with Deon Davids presenting the first one on Wednesday.”
Adonis said the target group of this online gathering was schools coaches, specifically those responsible for the current intake of Under-16 and Under-18 players in SA Rugby’s Elite Player Development programme (EPD).
“These coaches are responsible for the coaching of around 60 U16 and 75 U18 players who are currently enrolled in our EPD programmes, so we thought it would be a starting point,” he said.
“The feedback we received from the coaches was very positive. They absolutely loved the idea to get involved and to make use of the opportunity to learn from South Africa’s best coaching personnel.
“They sent plenty of messages through WhatsApp and email to express their gratitude and their excitement. Many said they were so motivated after the session and they are now looking forward to the next instalments.”
Issued by SA Rugby Communications