Rian Oberholzer expected to ‘hit the ground running’ as SA Rugby interim CEO

New SA Rugby interim CEO Rian Oberholzer. Picture: Debbie Yazbek

New SA Rugby interim CEO Rian Oberholzer. Picture: Debbie Yazbek

Published Mar 3, 2023


Cape Town - Rian Oberholzer has been appointed as the interim CEO of SA Rugby in a move that will see him step aside from the position as administrator of Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU).

He takes over the CEO role left vacant after the departure of Jurie Roux who parted ways with SA Rugby at the end of December last year.

Oberholzer will step in immediately and remain in place until a permanent appointment is made.

Rugby's governing body in the country also indicated that it will soon appoint a new administrator for the WPRFU with the task to get the beleaguered union back on track, especially with its finances.

“This is an interim role that required someone able to walk in and hit the ground running,” Mark Alexander, president of the South African Rugby Union, said in a statement on Oberholzer's appointment at SA Rugby.

“The requirements were for an individual who had an excellent understanding of the local rugby landscape as well as the capacity to engage at the Sanzaar, United Rugby Championship and World Rugby level.

“This is well-trodden ground for Rian, and we are fortunate that he was in a position to accept our approach.”

Alexander added that SA Rugby will still appoint two CEOs with the proposed private equity deal set to lead to the establishment of a new commercial structure.

“The completion of the proposed equity transaction will trigger new appointments. Appointing a single individual permanently right now would be unfair until the roles and responsibilities, as well as the terms and conditions for the new positions, had been finalised on completion of the equity transaction.”

Oberholzer, who previously served SA Rugby from 1996 to 2003, said his role will be to give leadership to the operational team and guide them in delivering the strategic objectives that have already been determined by SA Rugby's Executive Council.

This past week, he concluded the deal which will see the Stormers and Western Province in the Currie Cup become the primary anchor tenant at the DHL Stadium in Cape Town for the next 99 years.

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