World Rugby Awards Snub Is The Latest Sore Point For South Africa

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For many South Africans, it was the final straw. So far this season, they’ve defeated Covid-19 and the British and Irish Lions, beaten New Zealand on the Gold Coast, and just defeated Wales and Scotland. And how many of their favorite Springboks have been nominated for a World Rugby award for men’s player or coaching? Depending as whether you choose to hear your bad news in English, Afrikaans, or Xhosa, you can say none, niemand, or akukho nanye.

On its own, this would have been a small problem. Antoine Dupont of France, Maro Itoje of England, and Michael Hooper and Samu Kerevi of the Wallabies are all excellent players, and no one has ever claimed that award shortlists are a flawless science. But the context is everything: many South Africans are already incensed at what they see as Rassie Erasmus’s continued showtrial as the Springboks’ director of rugby in the aftermath of his infamous Lions tour video tirade, and they’ve seen a recurring pattern.

There’s certainly a risk here of adding two and two and getting a number that’s far higher than four. Even though South African provincial sides now compete in the new United Rugby Championship, the view from north of the equator can be very different from that from south. One thing is certain: many people in South Africa feel insulted, patronized, and wronged, and they are becoming vocal about it.

source : guardian sport

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