No vote for EP Rugby as Saru decides its fate

Monde Tabata Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Monde Tabata
Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Eastern Province Rugby will not have a vote when vital decisions regarding their future are taken at a top-level SA Rugby Union meeting in Cape Town next week.

Because they are under administration, SA Rugby officials said, EP will not have voting powers at what promises to be a fiery general council on December 9.

Earlier this year, EP Rugby also did not have a vote at a meeting when Mark Alexander was elected president.

At this stage EP Rugby have not advised SA Rugby who their representatives at the meeting will be, though Saru administrator Monde Tabata said a decision would be made shortly.

“We have not decided yet who will represent EPRU.

“Fred Makoki and Philip Joseph have been representing EPRU at Saru meetings lately.”

“Nearer to the time, we shall advise,” Tabata said.

This lack of a vote could be crucial as delegates are likely to thrash out the pros and cons for a new-look Currie Cup Premier Division, which might not feature Eastern Province.

A strength versus strength, featuring the teams which occupied the top six places last season, would be a crippling blow for the union.

If a plan for the top six teams to contest the Premier League is passed, the Kings will be left on the sidelines.

That would leave the Cheetahs, Bulls, Golden Lions, Western Province, the Sharks and Griquas fighting for the trophy.

Alexander has outlined plans for an overhaul of SA Rugby administration as well as for a Springbok review process, following what he admitted had been a profoundly disappointing season.

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

Saru’s president said the key changes planned were:

  • New franchise and non-franchise rugby committees to improve communication between unions and the executive council, to make recommendations on competitions and playing affairs; and to speed up decisionmaking;
  • 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; and
  • 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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