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Sunday, December 18, 2005


Rugby Personalities: Q&A with Hoskins

Original Source:
By: Zayn Nabbi

Other Categories: SA Unions, Rugby Administration

Following on from Rugga World's exclusive Q&A with the Southern Spear's CEO, Mr Tony McKeever, there appears to be a fresh wind of communication blowing through the rugby landscape. In a welcome move, the Sharks President, Oregan Hoskins chats to the AFP's Zayn Nabbi. Hopefully the proactive moves by the above gentlemen will help usher in a new, transparent and communicative era for provincial, and national, rugby in South Africa.

Zayn Nabbi: Let's not beat around the bush, Oregan, Sharks rugby is currently in a quagmire. What are some of the problems?

Oregan Hoskins: I think over the last three to five years we've tried to wave the cheque book to attract the best players to the Sharks, but what we have found is that this strategy has not worked.

Other provinces have cottoned on to what we were doing and now tie up their players with three-year contracts, so your Springboks and good provincial players are all retained on long-term contracts.
During this time we have also neglected to build a solid youth base to feed the Sharks team and this has also contributed to our problems today.

ZN: Firebrand SA Rugby president Brian van Rooyen and the Sharks have clashed during the past year. Do you think this tempestuous relationship was because the Sharks attempted to oust the president from power a few months ago?

OH: When we met a couple months ago, the Sharks, along with the Free State Cheetahs, called for a motion of no confidence in Mr Van Rooyen because of the findings of the Brandt-Heunis report, which found the president guilty of bad corporate governance. A motion of no confidence does not remove a person from office. Legally the person can only be removed at an AGM with an election.

ZN: With some of Van Rooyen's ardent supporters at Griquas, SWD Eagles, Griffons and Border having been axed, do you think the president's support base has been eroded and he will be voted out at the annual SARU elections in February next year?

OH: Yes. With a number of provincial presidents being removed, it certainly looks like the winds of change are sweeping through SA rugby. I'd be surprised in we don't see a few changes in leadership next year.

ZN: On the home front, the Sharks made the controversial appointment of Rudolf Straeuli as commercial manager. Given Rudolf's background - having covered up the "race row" between Quinton Davids and Geo Cronje as well as the infamous Kamp Staaldraad debacle, not to mention his shocking Springbok track record - can you explain why he was appointed to such a high profile position at the Sharks?

OH: Let me firstly say that I would never condone any acts of racism or prejudice. But, in saying that, Rudolf has apologised for his mistakes in the past and asked that we move on. I think we must look forward and be prepared to reconcile. Rudolf is also very well connected overseas and knows coaches and players well in the English set up.

ZN: I understand that Rudolf is in charge of recruiting new players. Firstly, is he the right man for the job, having used 75 Springboks during his 18 months in charge of the national team? Surely this raises questions about his ability to spot talent? And secondly, I'm yet to hear of him signing big names for the Sharks.

OH: Yes, you're right ... um, I think there'll be a few new faces here before the Super 14.

ZN: Looking at transformation, at both the Sharks and Springboks, it seems satisfactory for black players to continue to remain in the minority. Do you think this is acceptable?

OH: No, I think the pace of transformation has been too slow in rugby. When you look at a sport like cricket and compare it to rugby, we have fallen behind drastically.

To be honest I'm not sure how to speed up the process. There have been quarters who've suggested government legislation and others who believe we need to change mindsets.

However, with Dr Willie Basson in the process of finalising the Transformation Charter for rugby and a scorecard to measure progress, I think this is going to help. I mean what is a concern is that there are more black players than white players in the country, yet we can't field a Springbok team demographic-ally representative of the rugby playing community.

ZN: Oregan, it's very nice and politically correct to talk about "changing mindsets", but how can this be done if your key positions like CEOs, commer-cial managers, team management and coaches are domin-ated by white coaches and administrators? You are the only black official in a position of authority at the Sharks.

OH: Yes, I'm glad you make this point. I think it's important that when we find successors to CEOs at the Sharks/KZNRU, we look at people of colour. I think that is imperative. Also, we have a number of competent black coaches - like Pieter de Villiers (Southern Spears and former SA under-21s), Chester Williams (former Cats), Jerome Paar-water (WP assistant coach) and Eric Sauls (former SA under-21s) in South Africa - and when positions are available at the Sharks we must look at bringing black coaches and managers into our structures.

ZN: Finally, the Super 14 promises to be a bumpy ride. If we take the worst case scenario the Sharks will be relegated from the tournament in 2006. If this was to happen, what impact will this have with sponsors and players ?

OH: Firstly, I think the draw the Sharks have is unfair. We should have played an extra home game this year, because we played more games away from home this year. In terms of sponsorship and players leaving, we have long term contracts with sponsors and players and are confident they will stay with us.

Very interesting.
Pity the Shark sponsors when the team drops out of the S14.
I do not believe that the Sharks will be the one's that is going down. I hope it is not the Cheetahs- but it is not impossible. Likewise I believe the Stormers might just pull it of

It maybe even one of the two more fancied sides- but time will tell.

I must say that I am really fed up with this whole issue of the pace of transformation being to slow- too slow for the political asperations of individuals and groupings- but apart(no pun intended) from individual brilliance on the field, transformation have not produce any rugby related success stories. For example look at EP, Border, SWD.

That is why I am positive about the Spears- hope they can turn that tendency around.

Tokenism- eish it is a lot of Bullshit
very interesting indeed - it is a pity though that he cleverly sidesteps some questions, especially the Strontlie ones. you would think a savvy reporter would pick up on this and ask the question again - ala john robbie, now there is a man to do an interview.

i wonder if keo's lovers mallet and kobus will do interviews with anyone other than the old monarch guys, you know, and actually get answers out of them from the questions we ask - not some watered down bullshit on how mallet is setting up structures.


I believe that Ruggaworld & OORB should put toget a joint Press List,
with contact numbers & emails all the whos who in Rugby Union.

That way a person, like Mallet can be contacted directly- and if he does not want to respond- just publish the questions.

Btw the november issue of SA Rugby has a good quote on Heyneke Meyer on the setting up of structures.

Maybe The Nickster is now into reticulation himself.

BTW, what happened to the cricket commentary?
SA rugby mag is my X-mas present from the Orakeltjies- and it is a good mag- I can recommend it- just read past the spin- which is much less than that on  

after the shit SA dished up yesterday i did not really see a point in commentating on it!!!!!

i was just a bit busy yesterday, but will gladly put something up.

i reckon its a great idea, we sould compliment one another, and if a mallet ignores our attempts to get answers, we just post it anycase stating he does not want to talk to us!!!!!!

but seriously, lets take this off-line, there is a couple of things we can look at.

you got mail
Apparently in the days of apartheid SA, PW and his cronies would be given a list of the questions they'd be asked before they went on tv. My aunt worked there during those days as an interpreter (magic gift with languages but eish.... a white person translating shows into Zulu and what have you...).

This is what Keo does.

He asks the questions and then waters them down and gives them to the Nicksteroonie to read and decide which ones he likes and doesn't like and how he would answer them.

This is quite a good interview thoigh. It was easy for Oregon to agree to speak to the media, now I wonder if he'll speak to fans.

lol: A year ago this time my wife decided her company would sponsor the Sharks!

She's very sorry about that now. She even received a petition addressed to her from Sharks fans asking for her company to reconsider their sponsorship or flex muscle and remove the Sharks management and coaching staff. She told them she was tied in contractually and couldn't renege and team mamagement was none of her concern.

The reason Oregon got nailed is because he was the one asking to be appointed as caretaker following the removal of BVR.

Anyway, I like the forthright answers he gave to some questions like why the Sharks are so kak at the moment. Good PR that. It shows fans that the team has seen there problems, recorded their problems and aimed at solutions.

Aside from skirting the issue of whether Straueli is any good - the racist thing is beaten to death - he was refreshingly open in his answers.

Good on you Tony McKeever!!!

You're setting the example!
Jy is heeltemal korrek oor die vrae aan apartheidsministers - ek kan daarvan getuig.
Ek is net nie seker of dit verander het nie...
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