CAPE TOWN – Re-elected South African Rugby Union president Mark Alexander believes that "we’ll see results on the field in due course” from the Springboks under the guidance of Director of Rugby and coach, Rassie Erasmus.
Alexander was on Friday re-elected as the president of SA Rugby at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Cape Town with an “absolute majority”, defeating the only other presidential hopeful - Leopards Rugby Union president André May - to the job.
Alexander was elected unopposed in 2016 after Oregan Hoskins, who also held the position of World Rugby vice-president from 2011 to 2016, stepped down mid-term after a decade at the top.
Alexander – who will be in charge of the South African Rugby Union for four years – believes SA Rugby has done well to recover from the “perfect storm” of 2016.
“We are all very aware of the tough period that South African rugby has been through since 2016 when we endured what we refer to as a perfect storm, but I believe we have turned the corner.
“We embarked on a turnaround strategy to get our organisation back on track and we now have some continuity to deliver that strategy. We knew from the onset that this would not be a quick-fix, but a committed two-and-a-half year strategic process.
“People judge us only on the performance of the Springbok team – we know that and we accept that. But I do believe that we are going in the right direction under the auspices of our new director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus, and that we will see the results on the field in due course.”
Of the many aspects the SA Rugby president will oversee, the performance of the Boks will of course be a key one. And how far they’ve really come under Erasmus – who took over the Springbok coaching gig from discarded coach Allister Coetzee and doubles as Director of Rugby – will be seen when they play their first Test of the year against Wales in Washington DC in the US on June 2 and, more importantly, England in a three-Test series thereafter.
In the battle to become Alexander’s deputy, Francois Davids also retained his position as deputy president of SA Rugby, beating Dr Jan Marais – who was the SA Rugby chairman before the organisation restructured in 2011 - in the two-horse race.
Lindsay Mould from the Free State and Pumas boss Hein Mentz were voted into the two vacant SA Rugby Executive Council positions, defeating Vivian Lottering (incumbent - Valke), Schalk Liebenberg (KZN), Arthob Petersen (Boland), JJ van der Mescht (Blue Bulls) and Thelo Wakefield (WP) in the process.