Rugby Union: Springboks' match under threat: The South African rugby codes are locked in conflict. Dave Hadfield reports on the far-reaching implications

THE Springboks' rugby union match at Elland Road this autumn is being threatened by calls for them to be barred from the ground if the South African Rugby Union does not lift its ban on rugby league.

The Springboks are due to play the North at the stadium - which is used by Leeds United and Hunslet RLFC but owned by Leeds City Council - on 10 November.

But the Rugby League Supporters' Association has complained to the council. 'We want the council to ask the South African Rugby Union to lift its ban on rugby league,' the RLSA's secretary, Tony Collins, said. 'If not, they should tell them that they are not welcome at Elland Road.

'We are not in favour of stopping any game, but if the SARU is taking discriminatory action against rugby league then there is no reason why they should be able to avail themselves of facilities maintained by poll tax payers in Leeds.'

The RLSA is waiting for an official response from the council. 'On an informal level, there has been considerable interest,' said Collins, who has also contacted the Anti-Apartheid Movement and the African National Congress to tell them of the initiative.

There has been increasing amateur rugby league activity in South Africa over the last two years, with rugby union players taking the opportunity to try the game, alongside many who had never played either code of rugby.

But an instruction from the SARU to its member provinces last month effectively banned rugby union players from playing league as well as forbidding the use of rugby union grounds.

The instruction says that amateur rugby league constitutes a threat to union and may lead to the formation of a professional rugby league in South Africa.

Collins says that the SARU is in contravention of its own International Board's policy of a 'free gangway' between the two codes for amateur players.

The International Rugby Football Board, however, says that member countries can 'frame additional regulations relating to amateurism, provided they are not in conflict with the Board's regulations and are only effective within that particular Union.'

The Board's secretary, Keith Rowlands, has written to the RLSA that 'it is my contention that the SARU has acted within its rights as provided within our bye-laws'.

Collins says that makes a nonsense of the much-vaunted 'free gangway'. 'It leaves member countries free to discriminate against league as they see fit,' he said.

The South African Rugby League, which has been particularly active in Soweto and other black townships, is to fight the ban in the country's courts.

'This is typical of the disregard and intolerance the Union has for people who do not share their views. It is an unlawful invasion of an individual's right to choose the game in which he wishes to participate,' its president, J C Strauss, said.

The SARL secretary, Dave Southern, said: 'Our lawyers say that the Rugby Union don't have a leg to stand on, but we also need all the international support we can get.'

Tony Simpson, the press officer for the Rugby Union's Northern Division, said that he was unaware of any clash between the two codes in South Africa or any protest over the match. 'We obviously hope that the arrangement to use Elland Road will stand,' he said.

The Division had made provisional arrangements to use the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield, another council-owned ground whose main tenants are Sheffield Eagles rugby league side, if the date clashed with Leeds United's second-round tie in the European Champions' Cup, but a clash is no longer likely.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little