Rugby Union: Luyt predicts move to professionalism

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LOUIS LUYT, the controversial president of the South African Rugby Football Union, is confidently predicting that the game will become a more or less fully blown professional sport after next year's World Cup has been completed in the Republic.

'Rugby is no longer an amateur sport and the only problem we've got is with people who still maintain it is. The World Cup's going to be a rude awakening for these people,' he says in an interview in the latest issue of Rugby World magazine.

'Players are entitled to share some of what we all get out of the game and I can tell you that after the World Cup the game will become officially commercial. If people don't like it, then that's tough because that's the way it's going to be.'

Luyt says it might take a little longer before players are actually paid, forecasts a financial bonanza for the sport from the World Cup, and is critical of the last competition, which was staged jointly by the four home unions and France.