Reality paints a different rugby picture in South Africa.

There was a fair amount of cooing about the arrival of new Springbok coach Allister Coetzee and his intentions to pick more players of colour in his test teams.

It was a primary goal and by the next World Cup, he vowed that black players would make up half the side.

The Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula weighed in with his demands which had been agreed to by SARU and would be directed by Coetzee. Actions needed to match the talk.
If that did not occur, there would be repercussions.


Those demands put Coetzee in a difficult position. The Super rugby sides don't show a significant rise in picking black or coloured players yet Coetzee is expected to set an example from the top and also produce consistently high standards from the Springboks.

It was an exacting task as Mbalula warned Coetzee on his appointment as national coach.

"South Africans are not very loyal," he said. "You can see people are here congratulating you. If you get beaten by the Irish, we are going to start digging up things we never knew about you."

Has that started, are the recriminations building after Coetzee and the Springboks opened their international association with a 20-26 loss to Ireland?

That defeat was at home against an Irish side who were a man down for the 60 minutes after CJ Stander was sent off.

The heat has intensified this week in South Africa to a level matched by the intrigue in Melbourne as the Wallabies try to square the series against England.