The choice: Europe or Craven Week
OPINION: Tauriq Ebrahim looks at how selfish individuals are looking after their own interests and denying others the time to shine at Craven Week.
The news of schoolboy players being signed by European clubs has become the norm during and post-Craven Week.
However, when players sign those deals before the prestigious festival, they should forfeit their right to participate.
It was recently revealed that two Western Province Craven Week players are heading to France in 2020 and while this may not be earth-shattering news, the timing of it hits a nerve.
I would have had no issue with them heading to Europe if the scouts spotted them at the 2019 Craven Week and they signed a deal there.
However, due to them having put pen to paper before the week-long festival starts, they are now denying others the opportunity to display their talents.
These youngsters have basically given the WP Rugby and SA Rugby fraternities a massive middle finger and something needs to be done about it.
Surely, if you embark on these sort of career choices prior to Craven Week, then you automatically forgo your place in the team you were selected to represent?
Both represented WP at the 2018 edition of the competition, which means the Union has invested time and money to enhance their talents and grow their skills. This is what they do to show their ‘gratitude’.
Two other players will now be sitting at home during that week and will be left wondering what would have been. Who knows, those two could have set themselves up for a professional career, and if nothing is done about it, the chance of it happening becomes non-existent.
So my appeal to those in power is this – if any of these young players who you have invested your time and efforts into have no desire to show their appreciation for what you have done for them, then remove them from the Craven Week team and give others the opportunity.