They've been labelled dinosaurs and pilloried and this week they were back, voting on whether Jake White would continue as Springbok coach. These were the men who voted that the Spears would play Super 14, later reneging on their decision and campaigning for the exclusion of the Southern Cape franchise.
They consist of the 14 union presidents, the president, Saru deputy and vice-presidents, chairperson of the SA Rugby board, the CEO and deputy and the MD.
Durban-based attorney who was president of the Sharks before succeeding Brian van Rooyen as president of Sarfu in February this year. Hoskins was a lock in his playing days under the Saru banner while growing up in Pietermaritzburg.
(Saru deputy president)
Brother of minister of sport Makhenkesi Stofile. A former player and administrator from Saru in the Border area who was arrested, charged and convicted of terrorism and spent six years in prison in the Ciskei during the days of the struggle. Became vice-president of Sarfu in 2004 and deputy president in February this year.
(Acting SA Rugby MD)
Former managing director of the Daily Dispatch in East London and chief executive of the Border Rugby Union. Was appointed financial director of SA Rugby in 2004.
Attorney and former president of Van der Stel rugby club who resigned as president of Western Province this year after being elected vice-president of Sarfu.
(SA Rugby Board chairperson)
Former chief executive of Petro-Chem SA who became chairman of the SA Rugby Board this year.
Former chief executive of Transvaal, Golden Lions and the Cats who also held dual posts as managing director of SA Rugby and chief executive of Saru. A former coach of the Wits under-20 team, a house-master at Wits Technikon and referee who has been an IRB member and is still on the SANZAR board. Worked in the film industry and once served on the censorship board of Bophuthatswana.
(Saru deputy CEO)
Former No 8 of Midlands (Eastern Cape), a member of the SA African Rugby Board and captained two famous schools, Healdtown, the alma mater of Nelson Mandela, and Lovedale, whose most famous ex-pupil is Thabo Mbeki. Was an administrator and match secretary in Kwaru and club secretary of Easterns, and a senior vice-president of EP after unity.
Played first-team rugby from Std 8 for Hilton College and then Cedara Agricultural College. A farmer who played his club rugby for the Rhinos and 70 games for Zululand. Was on the Sharks executive for two years, first as deputy president and then president from March.
(Golden Lions president)
Professor of optometry at RAU who coached the university and has been involve in provincial structures from the late 1970s. Was once an assistant coach of the Israel under-20 side who also coached the Lions under-20 team. Played flank for Transvaal at Under-20 level and was chairman of RAU.
Former flank for the Cheetahs who played his club rugby for Shimlas and has been president of the Bloemfontein-based union longer than any other of his peers. Is also managing director of the Cheetahs.
Former chairperson of the Pirates Rugby Club and Wellington Districts Union who has been president of Boland for 10 years. Was on the SA Rugby national selection and has served on the executive. Was a national selector from 1992 to 1996.
Farmer and part-time restaurant owner in Springbok, specialising in steaks and pizza. Groenewald regularly drives 800km to attend meetings in Kimberley. Was a centre and wing for Namaqualand. Became president of the union last year.
Dr Jan Marais
A centre at university in Pretoria and for 10 years was the team doctor of the Griffons from 1992. A former junior vice-president of the union, then deputy president for a year.
Should know a thing or two about rugby politics having survived from the Sarfu executive committee and the president's council dating back to the days of Louis Luyt. Only Harold Verster and Jackie Abrahams have been union presidents for longer periods. A former Eastern Transvaal Under-20 player, selector and manager of the union and an ex-police officer.
Pat da Silva
(Eastern Province president)
Retired school principal at Gelvandale Primary who played centre and flank for Bedford. Became president of EP four months ago. A former coach at Bennett Tertiary College, a vice-chairman of EP who was convener of selectors and served on the disciplinary committee.
One-time coach of Russia who ranks as probably the most experienced former coach on the Presidents' Council, having gone through the ranks before becoming president of the Potchefstroom-based union.
(Blue Bulls president)
A successful farmer in the Northern Province who became president of the Bulls this year when he succeeded Dolf van Huyssteen.
(SW Districts presidents)
A one-time 104kg wing who played for Pretoria Police and ran the 100m in 10.6 seconds. Later played for South Western Districts and worked in Nedbank's finance department. Became junior president of SWD in 2003 and president last year.
(Western Province president)
In administration for 40 years. First with the University of the Western Cape as assistant secretary and who was the youngest president of Bellville Union at 20. Was president of Tygerberg for 12 years. Became junior vice-president of WP in 1992 and a member of the Sarfu executive. Then an executive member and junior vice-president of Sarfu. Now a life member of WP and Saru, the first black president of WPRU and a former senior director of student affairs at Pentech.
No information available from SA Rugby.