- Apr 9, 2010
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heineken, it is not so much about "whinging about not playing in the first 2 tournaments" but more about the fact that there are plenty of South Africans who beleive the history of RWC begins in 1995...
[TEXTAREA]From an article in "The Guardian", Monday 26 June 1995
In a speech which resonated with the old Afrikaans arrogance, Mr Luyt proclaimed the victorious Springboks as the first 'true' world champions.
'There were no true world champions in the 1987 and 1991 World Cups because South Africa were not there. We have proved our point,' he said.
This prompted New Zealand's defeated captain, Sean Fitzpatrick, to lead his side out of the dinner - but not before some players had approached the top table to take issue with Mr Luyt.
The All Blacks were quickly followed by the French and English. 'It's disgusting. I can not believe what he has said,' Mr Fitzpatrick said afterwards.[/TEXTAREA]
Sadly, there are many South African fans who still believe this nonsense - that the All Black and Wallaby wins in 1987 and 1991 are invalid and irrelelvent because the Springboks didn't take part.
I think using Mr. Louis Luyt as an example is not the right way to go about. A lot of rugby fans hated him, some still does (my Father). It could also have been that what was said be taken out of context, as Mr. Luyt didn't speak English that well, and had that typical Afrikaner broken english accent. But I don't want to make excuses, I was still a baby when all this was said and happened.
I think he took what most thought and felt a little further than what was truly thought. My opinion is that we can't use the first 2 tournaments as a yardstick from a South African perspective because we didn't participate and couldn't even play international rugby at that time. But this was due to our own wrongdoing as a country on a political front which affected our sports teams directly.
I certainly don't believe the history of the World Cup begins in 1995. I think 1995 was the beginning of the movement of professionalism in rugby and rugby tournaments which has certainly evolved into the great spectacle it is today. But myself and many others certainly don't discredit the first 2 tournaments or the value it had.