It is now almost a decade since the Springboks were on top of the rugby pile as champions of the world, victors over the British and Irish Lions and Tri-Nations winners in 2009. The "holy grail" was achieved with the national team beating the All Blacks three times in 2009, and the Blue Bulls would waltz into two successful Super Rugby finals (2009 and 2010). Along with dominance on the field, in financial terms rugby was perhaps in its best health in the modern era, with its major teams — on the surface at least — — being SA's most profitable sports franchises. Under the stewardship of CEO Johan Prinsloo, SA Rugby made a before-tax profit of R28.5m in the 2009/2010 financial year. Today, the game that was first played in this country more than 156 years ago, at Bishops College in Cape Town, and that took root in various parts of SA, is in a precarious position because of the loss of sponsorship and an inability to outgrow its confines. In its latest annual report, SA Rugby reported...

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