Editorial: Choose the right man to lead EP

At long last the troubled EP Rugby Union will be able to draw a line in the sand and make a fresh start when it elects a new president on Saturday.

For far too long EP Rugby has been beset by debilitating power struggles which have hampered the progress of the once proud union.

Though much was achieved under the eightyear watch of former president Cheeky Watson, his reign will be remembered for all the wrong reasons after a cash crisis hit the union.

Sadly, EP Rugby is no longer the power it once was and the new president will have his hands full getting the union back on its feet.

Only last month the Kings were relegated from the Currie Cup Premier Division and there is talk that the Southern Kings could be booted out of Super Rugby.

At club level as well, much hard work will also need to be done.

It is vital, therefore, that club rugby officials make the correct choice when they vote for the new president on Saturday.

The candidates for the presidential hot seat are George Malgas, Tony McKeever, Stag Mitchell and Andre Rademan, and all are highly thought of in the rugby community.

Each of the presidential candidates has been asked to provide a synopsis of his strategic plan for EP Rugby, so voters will have a good idea of what to expect from the candidates.

Voters are certainly facing a difficult choice, because the candidates have all sent out strong messages on what they want to achieve for the union.

While Watson was president, warring factions emerged which tore the union apart and sent out the wrong message to potential sponsors who could have offered the union a lifeline.

The EPRU’s administration will be returned to local hands following the election, and this will help the new president to stamp his authority on the union.

Earlier, there had been speculation that former Springbok Garth Wright could be in contention, but he has said he will not be standing.

All rugby supporters must rally behind the new president, so that the game can prosper in the Eastern Cape.

One thought on “Editorial: Choose the right man to lead EP

  • April 7, 2017 at 6:04 am
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    Tony McKeever has been a champion and crusader of the “lost players” to Eastern Province rugby over the past decade. His experience as a competitive provincial sportsman in 6 sports, competing at a national and international level, as well as being the former CEO of the Eastern Cape Super Rugby franchise brings an unprecedented set of competitive and organizational skills to EP Rugby. He is also a member of Crusaders Rugby Football Club in Mandela Bay.

    There is no other individual or nominee, with the equivalent skill set and competency to bring about a revival of Eastern Province rugby’s fortunes on the field as well as engage corporate South Africa, to generate the necessary revenues for a sustainable rugby Union to the benefit of the EPRU Rugby Clubs.

    It is his experience of understanding how a Rugby Union, a Super Rugby franchise and a Rugby Club runs on a day-to-day basis, PLUS the knowledge of the workings and agreements with World Rugby, SARU, SANZAAR and Broadcast and Sponsorship agreements, that McKeever believes sets him in good stead for the role of EPRU President.

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