26 Feb 2015

Racial transformation plan for Springboks

12:00 pm on 26 February 2015

South African rugby squads will include seven non-white players in 23-man match squads in the run-up to this year's World Cup in England, which starts in September.

The Springboks Handre Pollard dives for a try.

The Springboks Handre Pollard dives for a try. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The commitment is part of plans for the South African game which aims to have non-whites making up half of all domestic and national teams by 2019.

At least two of the seven non-whites in this year's squads must be black Africans, distinguishing them from players of mixed race who have long played a role in Springbok teams.

The inclusion of seven non-whites will be a challenge for the Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer, whose starting fifteen right now would probably include only one black African and two mixed race players.

The transformation plans, first revealed unofficially last year, come amid growing unhappiness with Meyer for recalling veteran white players last year rather than giving emerging black Africans a sustained chance.