Cape Town - Following the Springboks’ embarrassing defeat to the All Blacks in Durban, former coach Nick Mallett has highlighted what he feels is wrong with South African rugby.
New Zealand beat South Africa 57-15 at Kings Park on Saturday to record their biggest ever win over the Springboks.
Commenting on the match in the SuperSport studio afterwards, Mallett said:
“There’s no question that structures in New Zealand rugby is the template South Africa needs to follow. A lot of what we saw today should be squarely blamed on our structures and our administrators because we have not got a professional setup in South Africa that equals the New Zealand system.
“In New Zealand the All Blacks are always placed first. The New Zealand Rugby Union contracts their Super Rugby players and places them in the franchises. Here, the every team signs its own players and coach. What I’m trying to point out is they have a centralised system run for the benefit of New Zealand rugby, we have a system that benefits our provinces and not the national side, which should actually be the main priority.”
Mallett also questioned whether South Africa can afford to have 14 professional unions.
“We can’t expect coaches or players to compete at such a high level with inexperienced and unprofessional administrators at the helm. We have 14 unions, but we can barely afford six unions.
‘When I was fired (as Springbok coach), they appointed Harry Viljoen and he lasted for a very short period of time and then they got Rudolph Straeuli and he wasn’t successful. Then Jake White came and served four years and did well and won a World Cup. So surely some continuity should have happened after that?
“But still that is not the main problem. The problem in South Africa is that we cannot maintain 14 professional unions. We always talk about the abundance of talent we have, but a lot of those youngsters are going overseas because of the weak rand. We have to keep those players in the country by reducing the number of unions and making those franchises professional in the sense that people can own shares as they do in England and France. That will allow businesses to run our unions and not people politically voted into position.”