South Africa slightly relaxed its rigid apartheid laws on sport y announcing recently that racially mixed rugby football teams would now tour abroad.
CU Dr. Danie Craven interviewed
CRAVEN: "I think we should confine ourselves to the fact that a principle has been established for a multi-national team to go overseas. The other one is a method -- how are we going to select? That we will discuss with our friends, the blacks and the coloureds, and we'll come to a conclusion and a method."
REPORTER: "Will this be known as a Springbok team, or do you have any other name for it?"
CRAVEN: "No, it will be something far above the Springbok, it'll be a south African team. We as a Springbok team wouldn't like to lose our identity. Springboks have always been associated with whites. The leopard again has been associated with the blacks and the puma with the springbok head between them--that emblem has been associated with the coloureds. Nobody wants to lose his identity, but we will have an emblem--a composite badge of those three, which we will use. To us it will be something above the springbok, or the puma or the leopard."
Rugby is south Africa's number one sport and devotees of the game regard this development as a major break-through at a time when growing international criticism has cut down the number of countries willing to play against South Africa This has led to frustration and what experts say are falling standards in rugby. The move comes a year after the first break in the strict race laws controlling rugby in South Africa. Last year's French touring side were the first to play a mixed team in South Africa. The experiment was repeated this year when the New Zealand All Blacks played an invitation team which included two blacks and two coloureds.
SPORT - RUGBY
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: South Africa slightly relaxed its rigid apartheid laws on sport y announcing recently that racially mixed rugby football teams would now tour abroad. The President of the South African Rugby Board, Dr. Danie Craven, now says he will accept an invitation to send a racially mixed team to tour France in 1979. He explained to reporters how the team would be established.