'They don't give a sh*t': Delport slams SA Rugby
SPOTLIGHT: Paul Delport has broken his silence on the state of women’s rugby in South Africa.
The former Springbok Sevens captain decided to step down as Springbok Women’s Sevens coach following the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town last month. However, SA Rugby only made it known to the public in a statement that was released on Wednesday.
In an interview with the Daily Maverick, Delport slammed SA Rugby for failing to invest in women’s rugby in the country.
“It was pretty simple for me. There were 16 teams at the Women’s Sevens Rugby World Cup. There are 13 teams that are full-time professional. There are three of us who aren’t. That’s us [South Africa], Madagascar and Colombia and we finished 14th, 15th and 16th,” said Delport to Daily Maverick.
“It’s pretty easy. I don’t need to explain this to anyone and the people at SA Rugby won’t listen.
“I’m not willing to work for people who don’t care about our Women’s Sevens programme.
“They’re just unwilling to invest. I don’t understand. Women’s rugby is where it is at the moment, where all the growth can happen. And we don’t want to invest, which doesn’t make any sense.”
Delport has been with the women’s Sevens team since 2017 and in that time a proper programme was never put in place.
“Apparently there’s a Sevens programme for next year as well as going forward that I wasn’t privy to and that I wasn’t consulted on,” said Delport.
“I’ve been asking for the same thing for five years and I still got nothing that I’ve asked for.”
The story continues below…
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) October 12, 2022
In the interview, Delport admitted he was forced to lie to players about incoming investments.
“[SA Rugby] don’t give a sh*t. I’m just resigning because I can no longer peddle a lie to talented young women,” said Delport.
“I’ve got these women asking me ‘Paulie, what should I do? Should I sign here or should I go overseas?’
“I don’t think it’s fair for a national coach to be telling players they shouldn’t sign here because there’s nothing going on. Unfortunately, that’s the truth.
“We don’t have enough athletic women playing Sevens and there’s an unwillingness to invest. If we want to do it properly we need to go and find proper athletes, but we also need to make it worthwhile for these talented young women. We can’t ask them to do things for free.
“We’re just falling further and further behind the rest of the world.”