Pick players on ability not colour - Breyton Paulse
December 3, 2013
Breyton Paulse sprints to for one the 26 tries he scored in 64 appearances for South Africa ...but he said he felt uneasy when first picked © Getty Images
Former Springbok wing Breyton Paulse has said he does not support the South African Rugby Union's planned quota system for next year's Vodacom Cup.
Under planned regulations teams will have to field seven players of colour in their 22-man squads, with at least five in the starting XV, and at least two of the seven will have to be forwards.
The board's assertion this move "underlines SARU's commitment to transformation" has already been attacked by human rights organisation Afriforum as being racial discrimination.
Paulse, who now works as a pundit for SuperSports, has publicly spoken of the problems he faced when first picked as he felt he had only been chosen to fulfil quotas rather than on ability. He said the regulations will risk having an adverse effect on players who could feel they are not there on merit.
"It is a big degradation for the players," he told Rugby365. "For the boys themselves it feels very unfair and it places a kind of label on them. They feel they are being 'forced' to be in the team. It is not nice to play under those circumstances."
"The players these days just want to play. Whether they are black, white or pink, they don't want to be labelled as quota players. [They] ant to feel they are in the team on merit and that they worked just as hard as the other guys to get into the team. They want to be accepted by the team and have the respect of their team-mates.
"If you feel you are a kind of a quota player, you won't be very comfortable in the team set-up."
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