Eastern Province High Schools Rugby Chairman Willem October might have to face the music over a replacement player selection decision he made which appears to go against a written instruction by Eastern Province Rugby Union President Cheeky Watson.
The issue began long before Craven Week when first choice centre Josiah Twum Boafo was forced to withdraw due to an ankle injury. His replacement was meant to be fellow Grey High School centre Ayanda Oliphant. October however picked Daniel Pienaar flyhalf Denver Klue instead.
The letter to October by Cheeky Watson clearly stated that Oliphant and not Klue was the official replacement.
Before their tour bus departed for Stellenbosch, the Eastern Province team had to wait around for a few hours while the matter was debated. Eventually both players boarded the bus with the rest of the team and travelled to the Western Cape. Once there EP tried to in vain to register 23 players in spite of the Craven Week rules only allowed for 22 players per team. As a result of this request being denied, October then registered Klue as EP’s 22nd and final player, leaving Oliphant out in the cold.
The controversial matter had a happier but not completely satisfactory ending when Oliphant was drafted into the squad as a replacement for flank Malan Marais who was injured during the first game. As a result both Oliphant and Klue participated at Craven Week, where EP overachieved by reaching the final.
All that is left now is determining the reason behind October’s insistence on selecting Klue and whether or not October’s action amounted to insubordination.
Article by the HeraldLive.co.za: