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All Black fan still out in the cold

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If the duo were willing to commit to supporting the Springboks, they would be welcomed back with open arms

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A FINAL decision regarding whether supporting the Springboks, ahead of all other international rugby teams, should be a prerequisite for Griqua coaching staff will be taken in a fortnight’s time when the provincial school teams for the upcoming Saru Youth Weeks will be announced.

This is according to the president of the Griqualand West Rugby Union (GWRU), Jannie Louw, who confirmed yesterday that, like hundreds of players who are eligible to represent a Griquas schools team this season, coaching staff, including those who were recently sacked for their support of the All Blacks, will have to wait until after the “Bonde Dag” in two weeks’ time to learn whether they have been selected to the teams.

Last month, Louw defended the union’s decision to render Deon Carney and fellow coach, Joe Molale, ineligible for team management positions with Griquas as a “patriotic act”, adding that while everyone has the right to choose which teams they support, no employer would tolerate staff members coming to work in clothes with a rival company’s branding.

He further emphasised that if the duo were willing to commit to supporting the Springboks, they would be welcomed back with open arms. Subsequently, Molale has returned to the fold after conceding to pressure from the union.

However, Carney remains adamant that his support for the All Blacks does not mean that he is disloyal to the Boks and has nothing to do with his ability as a coach.

Louw said yesterday that the union was still weighing up its options regarding a resolution to the matter and are hoping to make a final decision over the next few days.

“At the moment, I am waiting for Griqua schools rugby to complete their report on the matter and to submit their evaluation to the union,” Louw said yesterday afternoon. “We are expecting this process to be completed before the end of the week and will determine how to address the matter once we have received their recommendations.

“Once this has happened, we will relay our decisions to the public.”

Meanwhile, Carney said that he was strictly focussing on his coaching duties at Northern Cape High School and was not anticipating a call from the GWRU, with any offers ahead of the upcoming Saru Youth Weeks, any time soon.

The NCH head coach has been actively involved with the Kimberley-based union for many years, first as a schoolboy player and later as a member of management for various Griqua sides, including last year’s Craven Week team who enjoyed an unprecedented three wins in three outings at Saru’s premier Youth Week in 2017.

Yesterday, he again expressed his allegiance to the All Blacks and their brand of rugby, adding that his support had not wavered over the last month.

“My position on the matter hasn’t changed,” he said. “I was offered the opportunity to return to Griquas’ coaching structures but declined as I maintain that I should be allowed to back the team of my choosing.

“For now, I’m really focussing my attention on work and am not planning on taking further action.”

Molale, meanwhile, said yesterday that he had decided to pledge his support for the Boks, giving in to the union’s demand that he shift his undivided loyalty to the green and gold in order to further his career as a coach.

“I’m back with Griquas and have agreed to support the Springboks as I would like to continue coaching and playing an active part in the sport,” Molale said.

“There were stories doing the rounds that we were wearing All Black supporters kit to union activities and training sessions but this was never the case. We only supported the New Zealanders in our personal capacity.

“Following our meeting with the GWRU, I decided to change my stance (on supporting the All Blacks) as I would like to carry on working with the union in order to further my coaching career.

“Because of this decision, I will still be joining the Griqua Academy team for their Saru Youth Week in Cape Town later this year.”

While Louw was hoping to make the final decision last week, he confirmed yesterday that the announcement would only be made after the final sides have been selected.