Deputy Alexander to oppose Hoskins in Saru elections

Oregan Hoskins, president of the South African Rugby Union (Saru), will be opposed by his deputy Mark Alexander at the Saru elections next month.

This was confirmed by Alexander during an interview on Thursday. He, however, declined to divulge why he is opposing Hoskins who is finishing his second term. Alexander said he would make a full media statement next week.

The two top role-players in South African rugby had an undertaking that Alexander would not stand if Hoskins was available.

However, Alexander said, “Regan hasn’t come out clearly and said to me he is standing for the position.”

No other candidates have until now declared their intention to challenge for the position. If the grapevine — always unreliable during this or any other rugby election — is to be believed, former Saru deputy president Mike Stofile will not stand again. He was defeated by Hoskins by a single vote two years ago.

Shortly after his defeat in 2008, Stofile claimed there was “no place for blacks in South African rugby”.

Hoskins and Alexander have been a tightly-knit team in the past two years and Alexander’s challenge for the presidency is likely to split the support vote for Hoskins, come election time.

This could conceivably see another candidate move into the coveted position.

A number of names of candidates is being bandied about but could not be confirmed.

Alexander denied there was any bad blood between him and Hoskins. He indicated to Sapa that if he won, it was important that Hoskins should retain his position as an International Rugby Board (IRB) council member.

“He has good standing at the IRB, and it would be foolish to replace him with someone who again has to win the confidence and support there.

“I believe Hoskins still has a role to play in rugby,” said Alexander. “We have a very good working relationship because we complement each other well and we are good friends.” — Sapa

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