Court action a threat to South Africa’s participation at Rugby World Cup
Israel Dagg and Cory Jane excluded as New Zealand announce World Cup squad
Israel Dagg, Cory Jane and Zac Guildford of the All Blacks pose with the Webb Ellis Cup after victory in the 2011 Rugby World Cup final over France. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images)
South Africa, one of the favourites for the World Cup, will be prevented from taking part in the tournament if a court action this week succeeds.
The Agency for New Agenda (ANA) party is taking the South African Rugby Union to court in Pretoria seeking an order that would force players and officials to surrender their passports, preventing them from flying to London on the grounds that the government‘s policy on transformation has not been met with the Springboks‘ squad, which was announced last Friday , being mainly white.
Edward Mahlomola Mokhoanatse, the ANA president, said: “The action is a public duty to defend our constitution and to consign to the rubbish bin of history all vestiges and remnants of racial bigotry, racial exclusion and discrimination.” Mokhoanatse added he would be asking the North Gauteng high court to establish a judicial commission of inquiry into “the lack of transformation in South Africa rugby”.
The court case adds to the pressure on the South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer after the three defeats in this year‘s Rugby Championship took the Springboks out of the top three in the world rankings.
Meanwhile, Defending champions New Zealand have announced their 31-man squad for the upcoming Rugby World Cup, with Waisake Naholo included but Israel Dagg and Cory Jane are among those to miss out.
Fullback Dagg and wing Jane were in the All Blacks’ starting line-up for their 8-7 victory over France in the 2011 World Cup final but neither will be part of the team’s defence in England and Wales this year.
Lima Sopoaga is also absent but winger Naholo, who broke his leg on his Test debut against Argentina in July and had been expected to be sidelined for three months, has been included in a squad led by Richie McCaw.
The 31-man group boasts almost 1,500 caps between them, but 17 of the party will be playing at their very first World Cup. NEW ZEALAND SQUAD
Forwards: Dane Coles, Keven Mealamu, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Tony Woodcock, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano, Samuel Whitelock, Sam Cane, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw (captain), Liam Messam, Kieran Read, Victor Vito.
Backs: Tawera Kerr-Barlow, TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett, Dan Carter, Colin Slade, Malakai Fekitoa, Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Sonny Bill Williams, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Waisake Naholo, Julian Savea, Ben Smith. Guardian Service