Springboks won't win with pensioners - Mantashe

2015-09-21 18:59
Gwede Mantashe

Gwede Mantashe (News24)

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Johannesburg - The Springbok rugby team cannot expect to win the Rugby World Cup if it continues to put "pensioners" on the field, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Monday.

"The issue is the composition of the overall team," he told reporters in Johannesburg following a national executive committee meeting at the weekend.

Mantashe used Springbok captain Jean de Villiers as an example.

He said De Villiers was not match fit as he had not played a single Super Rugby game this season and yet, out of "loyalty", he was given play time.

This was sending a message that the Springboks did not want to win.

"[Heyneke Meyer] must not put pensioners on the field. He must give young players a chance to play, he will win matches. We have an opportunity.

"There is a lot of talent. It's young, it's fresh, it's hungry. They must just be given a chance," Mantashe said.

The South African rugby team lost its opening match to Japan at the Rugby World Cup on Saturday.

Despite the disappointing result, the ANC urged the country to continue supporting the team.

Mantashe said credit must be given where it was due and he welcomed the inclusion of nine black players on the team.

"Let Meyer not take nine black players and make them passengers. He must give them match time."

He said the ANC's support for the Springboks was based on the hope that young players would be given a chance.

Mantashe said the ANC was confident that the team would redeem itself in the tournament.

Read more on:    anc  |  gwede mantashe  |  springboks

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