Former Bok Captain Wynand Claassens blasts flag furore, “Chappie” kit, and rugby rules

Former Bok Captain Wynand Claassens blasts flag furore, “Chappie” kit, and rugby rules

Former Springbok Captain Wynand Claassen has charged into the South African government for its sluggishness in updating anti-doping regulations. This blunder could’ve had the Proteas and Springboks playing without their national flag. In a candid interview with Biznews, Claassen is incredulous that the Department of Culture and Sport allowed two international competitions to proceed without sorting out these crucial regulations. He doesn’t hold back on SA and World Rugby Boards either, slamming the Springboks’ “Chappie” kit worn during the Rugby World Cup. Following an open letter to World Rugby, Claassen and his “partner-in-crime,” former Bok captain Tommy Bedford, launched a blistering attack on the so-called “Gin and Tonic Board Room Brigade.” Claassen asserts that World Rugby administrators live in a different world from professional rugby’s gritty reality and that the maze of rules they have introduced drives fans and aspiring rugby stars away from the sport. For the sport’s excessive yellow and red cards, he offers a bold alternative to reduce head clashes and make the game safer for players. Claassen also calls on ex-players and seasoned captains who truly grasp the game to have a louder voice in shaping its future. Regarding his ongoing battle to declare Newlands Stadium in Cape Town a heritage site, he is not backing off, much like he did during his rugby-playing days as an indomitable eighth-man. – Linda van Tilburg

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Relevant timestamps from the interview

  • srcsrc:src9 – Introductions
  • src1:15 – Wynand Claassen on the last minute effort to ensure that the Boks and Proteas can play under the South African flag
  • src3:34 – The Springboks kit issue
  • src6:src2 – What do you think is going wrong with the way that rugby is now being ruled
  • 1src:src7 – The excessive amount of red and yellow cards
  • 12:29 – The response to his open letter
  • 13:15 – Old players must have a voice
  • 15:2src – On preventing Newlands Rugby Stadium in Cape Town from being sold
  • 19:26 – Are you prepared to go to court if you don’t succeed with the minister
  • 19:32 – Conclusions

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Excerpts from the Interview

Government Dropped the Ball: Flag and Anthem, Vital Symbols for the Boks and Proteas

It appears that the Department of Culture and Sport has failed to update its anti-doping regulations, despite being warned about it a year ago in September 2src22. The Minister of Sport has announced that he will appeal to avoid the sanctions, but it’s unclear if they will be successful. The Springboks are playing in a Rugby World Cup quarter-final against France, and missing the deadline would trigger a ban on the world champions’ flying their flag and playing the national anthem for Sunday’s match in Paris. The Springboks are the reigning world champions, and it would be an embarrassment for the country if they were to play without their flag and anthem. The Proteas have also started well in their World Cup Cricket campaign, but they have not done well in previous World Cups. Players need to hear their anthem and see people waving flags as it can be a big motivator. It’s unfortunate that the Department of Culture and Sport has not done their work, and it’s annoying that they could go that far without doing what they were supposed to do.

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SA and World Rugby should be taken to task for the “Chappie” kit

I think that World Rugby and SA Rugby (SARU) are to blame for this. The Springbok colours have been a tradition since 19src6, for 117 years. Just because a sponsor paid a significant amount of money, they decided to dress us in this bubblegum toothpaste jer

…. to be continued
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