Saru CEO will no longer pick next Bok coach

CityPress - - Sport - HEN­DRIK CRONJÉ and JU­LIAN JANSEN sports@city­press.co.za

Jurie Roux is no longer in charge of the process at the SA Rugby Union (Saru) of ap­point­ing a suc­ces­sor for Heyneke Meyer.

Rap­port, the sis­ter news­pa­per of City Press, has learnt that Saru pres­i­dent Ore­gan Hoskins in­ter­vened and Saru’s high-per­for­mance com­mit­tee – con­sist­ing of Kevin de Klerk (pres­i­dent of the Lions), James Stof­berg (Saru vice pres­i­dent), Fran­cois Davids (for­mer pres­i­dent of the Boland Rugby Union) and Pat Kuhn (for­mer Storm­ers chair­per­son) – will now have to con­tinue the search on their own.

A source says Hoskins re­alised it was in the na­tional in­ter­est to in­ter­vene. He and his ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee were to have a meet­ing with Roux on Fri­day in Cape Town about, among other things, his fu­ture as the CEO of Saru.

Roux should have re­ceived in­struc­tions from Saru’s gen­eral coun­cil in De­cem­ber to lead the process of ap­point­ing a new Bok coach and the coun­cil (which among oth­ers con­sists of the pres­i­dents and CEOs of the 14 unions) would have rat­i­fied the ap­point­ment at its next meet­ing at the end of March. “The tim­ing of the of­fi­cial ap­point­ment of the next Bok coach now de­pends on the rec­om­men­da­tion of the high­per­for­mance com­mit­tee,” said a se­cond source.

Roux’s ini­tial task was to sub­mit the names of suit­able can­di­dates to the com­mit­tee, which would then have made its fi­nal rec­om­men­da­tion to the gen­eral coun­cil.

Al­lis­ter Coetzee and Rassie Eras­mus were the only names un­der dis­cus­sion and it is un­cer­tain whether the high­per­for­mance com­mit­tee will now cast a wider net.

Rap­port con­firmed that up to ear­lier this week, Saru had made con­tact with Coetzee once since De­cem­ber – by SMS. In the mes­sage, he was only asked whether he was avail­able. There was then no fur­ther of­fi­cial com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the par­ties.

This in­creases the like­li­hood that Eras­mus could be ap­pointed the in­terim coach for at least the three tests against Ire­land. The first test is on June 11 in Cape Town.

Roux is fight­ing to keep his Saru job af­ter ma­jor al­le­ga­tions of fi­nan­cial mis­man­age­ment were lev­elled against him. Re­vealed by Netwerk24 and con­tained in a re­port by au­dit­ing firm KPMG, the al­le­ga­tions are that Roux tried to hide the fact that he had used about R32 mil­lion of Stel­len­bosch Univer­sity money to fi­nance the Maties rugby club.

Frikkie Eras­mus, Roux’s le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive, yes­ter­day said the an­nounce­ment of a “foren­sic re­port” was a “to­tal sur­prise”. He said the al­le­ga­tions were un­tested and it was in­ter­est­ing that an “anony­mous per­son” was now sud­denly in­volved with pro­vid­ing the re­port. He said his client was “anx­ious” to get the case to court but Stel­len­bosch Univer­sity was de­lay­ing the process by not com­ing for­ward with doc­u­ments his client had re­quested a long time ago.

Eras­mus said nei­ther Roux nor Chris de Beer, his col­league who is ac­cused of the same mis­man­age­ment and is also Eras­mus’ client, would ad­dress the me­dia on the is­sue. “There is a lot of pres­sure on Roux,” said Eras­mus.

PHOTO: ASH­LEY VLOT­MAN / GALLO

SIDE­LINED Saru CEO Jurie Roux has been re­moved from the panel

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