Ex-All Black Questions ‘Governance’ Of SA Rugby

Former New Zealand prop Craig Dowd doesn’t believe the proper mechanisms are in place for the Springboks to compete with the All Blacks on a recurring basis.

Dowd observed after his former team annihilated the Springboks 57-0 in Albany last weekend. It was the Springboks’ biggest ever defeat since they started playing international rugby way back in 1891.

Commenting via a column for the ESPN website, Dowd questioned whether the Boks will ever be as daunting as it was in world rugby again.

“When you look at South Africa’s situation, the road to recovery starts with their governance. Can the Springboks come back from this? Yes, the team can improve. But can they ever be competitive with the All Blacks? They might be now and again, but really the structures in South Africa rugby are just going to get weaker and weaker unless something is done,” Dowd wrote.

Dowd, who played 60 Tests for New Zealand between 1993 and 2000, said the result was “embarrassing” for South Africans.

“The 57 points are one thing, but to go into a Test match and come away with zero, that’s a huge downer for South Africa. That would be one of the biggest embarrassments for any national side. I’ve got a lot of South African mates who are just embarrassed.

“If you look at the state of South African rugby, they’ve got one good side in the Lions, but then there’s a drop-off to second, third, fourth and fifth. And you can see that filtering down now; the talent pool coming through is very, very small. There are also so many players offshore now, and that highlights a much bigger problem.”

Last Saturday’s win was New Zealand’s 10th in their last 11 Tests against South Africa. The All Blacks can now boast a 56-35 win-loss record against the Springboks, including three draws.

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