There’s an interesting opinion piece by John Goliath running on SA Rugby magazine this week, suggesting that, after the euphoria of the Springbok victory tour around the country, the next assignment facing Rassie Erasmus is going to be a lot tricker.
Goliath provides extensive context but then he gets to the meat of the new challenge facing Rassie: “The Boks World Cup win was amazing, but we mustn’t forget that our rugby has been in decline over the last few years. The SA U20 team hasn’t won a world title since 2012, while the standard of the Currie Cup is getting worse and worse.
“The number of quality players leaving for big-money deals overseas has also left South Africa’s Super Rugby teams crippled and battling for resources. There is also a lack of quality coaching throughout the system, which is why the best schoolboys rugby players in the world sometimes struggle to take their play to the next level.
“SA Rugby’s scouting model and talent identification must also change. No longer can the big rugby schools be the only sources of talent...”
But we’re not sure that we agree, entirely. Certainly there are big problems in the development space that need urgent attention – especially if we’re going to bring through more quality players of colour.
However, the Currie Cup is no longer the single premier competition by means of which a Springbok coach can select a team. These days he has Super Rugby, English Premiership, French Top 14 and PRO14, among others. And the success of that strategy is explored on page six.