As part of a push to highlight the importance of club rugby as a feeder to senior professional rugby, and creating a rugby culture in the province that goes beyond just the Cell C Sharks, Jake White is promoting the value that professional players can give back to their clubs, be it in coaching, appearances or even playing.
On Tuesday, the Cell C Sharks players turned out at training in their club colours and all players have now been spread across the various clubs in an effort to divide the talent equally amongst the clubs.
"It's fantastic to see," said Jake White. One of the things I am big on as an old school master is that club rugby is important. I'm sure the clubs themselves will be thrilled to see a match programme where there is a club besides the player's name which means a significance as to the involvement of that club, a lot of these boys will be asked to attend fund-raising dinners or functions at the club. I've encouraged them to go down to their clubs on a Thursday night to help the Under 20s or the seconds or first teams."
He added that it was all about preventing one or two clubs from being elevated to a completely different level from the rest of the teams. This would then add value to the Moor Cup and Castle Murray Cup competitions, as well as the leagues with the players themselves bringing a certain aura to this level of rugby through their participation.
"It's important for me. I want to go watch two local club sides playing each other and I want it to be competitive. With all the players allocated equally to the various clubs means that when they have a free weekend and aren't involved in Sharks rugby, they get the opportunity to play for their club.
"And then all of a sudden the club competition gets stronger. Club rugby is important in other countries and we need to create a very strong club competition in KZN and that's why we are trying to make sure club rugby is important."
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