Angry coloured fans have declared war on “white” Springbok rugby, demanding more players of colour in the national squad.
Supporters Against Racist Rugby Associations (SARRA) was launched in Mossel Bay at the weekend and things got off to a fiery start.
The group, supported by former Bok coach Peter de Villiers, set a Green and Gold jersey on fire, and said they will continue to destroy shirts until their demands are met.
National coach Heyneke Meyer is due to name his 31-man squad to play in next month’s Rugby World Cup on Friday.
De Villiers was the keynote speaker and told supporters even though he was the first Bok coach to beat the All Blacks five times, his achievements meant nothing to his South African Rugby Union (Saru) bosses and he was ridiculed in the local media.
The leader of SARRA, Dawid Kamfer, says they decided to burn the jersey to show their anger at what they believe is the exclusion of “talented players of colour” from the Bok squad.
Kamfer says: “We want the coloured players to have a fair chance to play for the Springboks, we asked people and they agreed that Heyneke Meyer and [Saru President] Oregan Hoskins let us down.”
Kamfer said the IRB world rankings says it all – SA is ranked fifth, after New Zealand, Ireland and England.
“Peter de Villiers was a coloured coach who took us to number two. Today we’re at number five and no one is saying anything,” he notes.