HISTORY OF THE GAME

Background to the South African Rugby Union (SARU)

1. Introduction

The South African Rugby Union (SARU) is the custodian of the Game of rugby in South Africa. SARU was established in 1992 (as SARU) following the unification of the former SA Rugby Board (SARB) and SA Rugby Union (SARU), paving the way for South Africa's readmission to the international arena after eight years of isolation.

SARU has as its members the 14 Provincial Unions - the Blue Bulls (Pretoria), Boland (Wellington), Border (East London), Eastern Province (Port Elizabeth), Falcons (Johannesburg East Rand), Free State (Bloemfontein), Golden Lions (Gauteng), Griffons (Welkom), Griqualand West (Kimberley), Leopards (Potchefstroom), Mpumalanga (Witbank), KwaZulu-Natal (Durban), South Western Districts (George) and Western Province (Cape Town).

The unified SARU was founded on three core principles:

  • The establishment of a non-racial, non-political and democratic rugby community, both on and off the field to ensure the levelling of the playing fields at all levels.
  • The development of infrastructure and human resources potential in order to uplift the game in disadvantaged areas and establish it in areas where it was not being played.
  • To ensure that South Africa reclaimed its place amongst the world's top rugby playing Nations.