Select players on merit - Chester
March 8, 2000

World Cup-winning winger Chester Williams says while he wholeheartedly supports moves to increase the number of black players at the lower levels of South African rugby, he was concerned about the pitfalls of elevating players too quickly.
The flying Cats winger says he believes a player's career should be managed on a step-by-step basis and players should only be in a team on merit and not as a token selection.
Meanwhile Cats coach Laurie Mains has denied his selection of Mac Masina for Saturday's Super 12 match against the New South Wales Waratahs was a move to appease SARFU.
"Mac Masina was chosen because Japie Mulder is injured and he is the next best inside centre we've got,"' Mains said. "There's nothing more to it. There was no pressure to pick him for any other reason."
Mains was criticised for including just one black player, Williams, in his team's previous two matches despite urgings from SARFU for each of South Africa's four Super 12 teams to include at least two black players in their squad of 22 for each match.
Speaking in an Australian newspaper Williams, the first non-white player in a Sprinbok side, said some players were being pushed too soon into teams citing the case of Owen Nkumane.
Nkumane, a hooker, faded into obscurity after touring with the Springboks a few seasons ago.
"I think they must take it step by step," Williams said. "I think it's very important that there must be black and coloured players in the sides. But they mustn't be there because they have to be there. They should be there on merit.
"Otherwise that player, if not there on merit, might not feel welcome and his whole game drops down," Williams told "The Australian" newspaper.
SARFU currently has in place a quota system where three or five non-white players, depending on the region, must be included in provincial sides that contest the Vodacom Cup which is the tier below Currie Cup level and two levels below Super 12.
The same quota is expected to be imposed on Currie Cup sides this year.

Cats team - 15-Kobus Engelbrecht; 14-Chester Williams, 13-Grant Esterhuizen, 12-Mac Masina, 11-Thinus Delport; 10-Louis Koen, 9-Werner Swanepoel; 8-Andre Vos (captain), 7-Andre Venter, 6-Piet Krause, 5-Victor Matfield, 4-Jannes Labuschagne, 3-Willie Meyer, 2-Leon Boshoff, 1-Marius Mostert. Substitutes: 16-Jannie van der Walt, 17-Hennie le Roux, 18-Jimmy Powel, 19-Torros Pretorius, 20-Johan Ackermann, 21-Pierre Ribbens, 22-Delarey du Preez.

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