Cape Town - Oregan Hoskins announced on Wednesday that he was stepping
down as president of the South African Rugby Union after a decade of service
Hoskins advised the membership of SA Rugby at a meeting
of the General Council in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
“I have enjoyed a remarkable 10 and a half years in one of
the most high-profile roles in South African sport and have enjoyed some
incredible highs,” said Hoskins.
“It has been a pleasure and a privilege and
I want to thank everyone involved in South African rugby for the fantastic
journey we have shared.
“There have also been plenty of challenges to confront but I
wouldn’t have wanted it any other way - it’s an indication of how much our
sport matters in this country.
“At the time of my election I never imagined that I would
still be here 10 years later and I look back with considerable satisfaction
over what has been achieved in that time. However, over recent months we have
faced tough challenges and had some tough conversations which has made me think
about my role and my future.
“Being president of SA Rugby has become a full-time job and
with my term due to end in 18 months’ time I decided that, after a decade in
the job, it was now time to start the next phase of my career, although I have
no firm plans as yet, and allow someone else to take on this important role.”
Hoskins was elected for a two-year term in February 2006,
when he opposed incumbent, Brian van Rooyen. He was elected to the executive of
the International Rugby Board (IRB) - now World Rugby - in the same year and
rose to be vice-chairperson of the organisation before opting not to stand for
re-election in May this year.
He was re-elected as SA Rugby president one a further three
occasions in 2008 (two years) and for four-year terms in 2010 and 2014.
A number of notable landmarks were achieved during his presidency
with the winning of the Rugby World Cup in 2007, a series victory over the
British & Irish Lions, the Tri-Nations title and Sevens titles - including
Commonwealth gold and an Olympic bronze medal at the Olympics. A number of
world age group titles were also won.
He also oversaw the expansion of elite playing opportunities
for SA players with the addition of two South African teams to the Super Rugby competition and he also introduced stability to the national
coaching position. Only three Springbok coaches were appointed during his
presidency while there were six appointments in the previous decade.
The General Council paid tribute to Hoskins’ contribution
to rugby, both domestically and internationally as an office bearer at World
He was commended for bringing stability and returning
credibility to SA Rugby at a turbulent time in 2006 and for ceaselessly
striving for consensus in the game.
Other notable achievements include the amalgamation of the
two previous arms of the sport - amateur and professional - into one more
efficient entity and the ground-breaking Strategic Transformation Plan.
“In the current global economic climate every business has
its challenges and rugby certainly faces those, but I think we can look back
with satisfaction on what has been achieved over the past decade,” he said.
“All a player ever wants to do is leave “the jersey” in a
better condition than in which they found it, and I hope that my peers will say
that of me. I want to say thank you for the opportunity to serve as president
of South African rugby and to carry on the good fight in what I regard as the
greatest sport in South Africa.
“I think we are a more disciplined, better run and a much
more focused sport than we were in 2006. But after ten hard years in the hot
seat it’s time for me to hand over to a new person to carry this heavy burden,
but wonderful privilege.”