Cape Town - SARU president, Oregan Hoskins, has on Sunday paid tribute to former SARU vice-president and long-serving rugby administrator, Koos Basson, who passed away on Saturday. He was 74.Basson had recently become ill with a heart condition and had been discharged from hospital on Monday. He passed away at home during the Springboks’ match against New Zealand, doing the thing that he most enjoyed in life, watching rugby, said his widow, Stella."This is very sad news indeed," said Hoskins, "Koos was a great friend and a wise counsel to whom we could always turn. "His passion for the game ran bone deep and he served South African rugby with distinction in many roles for more than 30 years."I will personally miss his support and advice and the game is poorer for his passing."His was a life of service to rugby. Our thoughts and prayers are with Stella and the rest of the family."Koos Basson was born and bred in Stellenbosch – where he qualified as an attorney in 1964 – and began his long and distinguished association with the game in 1968 when he was appointed to the Western Province disciplinary committee – a role he was to fulfill for the next 30 years.He was also elected to the Western Province council – another post he held for more than 30 years – and eventually rose to the highest office in the union when he was elected president in November 2000.He held that responsibility until 2006 when he had to relinquish it for higher office, when he was elected as vice-president of SARU, having already served at a national level as a member of the disciplinary and appeals panels for eight years in the 1990s.He also served as a director on the board of the former SA Rugby (Pty) Ltd for three years until his elevation to the presidency.In addition, he was as a director of the South African Sports Science Institute and chairman of Sanzar’s disciplinary structures for five years.He also served as a member of the IRB’s judicial structures for more than a decade and remained a serving member of the SARU National Judicial Committee at the time of his death.He was a partner in Cluver Markötter, for whom he still consulted. He also co-edited of a book on South African sport law. He is survived by Stella, two children and three grand-children. His funeral will take place in Stellenbosch on Wednesday.