Bok to basics



November 28, 2016
Bok to basics

LOST: Bok debutants Du Preez, Janse van Rensburg and Cassiem

Saru president says SA Rugby needs overhaul.

South African Rugby Union (Saru) president Mark Alexander gaan die skape nou heeltemal deurmekaar jaag after what he described as a “profoundly disappointing” season for South African rugby.

After the Springboks’ 27-13 defeat to Wales to end their tour of the UK winless, Alexander outlined plans for an overhaul of SA Rugby administration as well as for a Springbok review process.

He says plans to bring governance structures more in line with the demands of professional sport were already well advanced, while the immediate question of what to do about Bok results was the organisation’s No.1 priority.

Saru have also added another indaba to their conditioning brainstorm on December 7 for Springbok coaches and franchise coaches on December 12.

Alexander explains: “It has been a profoundly disappointing season in terms of results and we are acutely aware that we have failed to live up to the Springboks’ proud heritage.

“We have collectively let down our supporters. I would like to apologise to all our stakeholders for the disappointments we have all suffered this season.

“We are all feeling very raw and let down and it would be easy to make knee-jerk decisions. But we must resist that.

“For instance, our playing fortunes have been declining since the Outgoing Tour of 2014 and we must coolly and coldly analyse what have been the main factors contributing to those results before determining what remedies are at our disposal to solve them.

“We will start by speaking to the coach [Allister Coetzee] and other team role players for their assessment and to provide our feedback.

“We will take feedback from forthcoming indabas and we must critically review our selection policy relating to overseas-based players.

“We’ve seen an unusually high number of injuries to key players this year, and we’ve lost many experienced Test players to overseas clubs.

“We have to find ways to manage these challenges. But I can assure our supporters and stakeholders that if tough decisions have to be made, we will not shy away from making them.”

Alexander also announced that there are plans in place to allow third parties to take a majority shareholding in Unions’ commercial arms.

New franchise and non-franchise rugby committees to improve communication between unions and Executive Council; to make recommendations on competitions and playing affairs; and to speed up decision making.

Allowing third parties to take a majority shareholding in Unions’ commercial arms and have a voice in running rugby through the new franchise rugby committee.

Doubling independent representation on the Executive Council to four members plus the representative of the players.

Terminating the role of the vice-president (at the end of the current term in 2018) to bring the elected representation to six.

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