Cape Town – Springbok coach Peter de Villiers is ready to pack his bags and turn his back on South African rugby.
De Villiers has still not signed a contract with SA Rugby, according to a member of the SA Rugby Union’s presidents’ council.
De Villiers was appointed as national coach more than two months ago.
The contract should have been signed on Monday but his legal representatives confirmed on Tuesday that it had not been done. They referred enquiries to SA Rugby.
People close do De Villiers say he is extremely frustrated and may even abandon the coaching position.
SA Rugby and De Villiers came to an agreement only after four draft contracts had been submitted.
However, there is renewed uncertainty after a meeting of SA Rugby’s board of directors on Monday.
Jonathan Stones, managing director of SA Rugby, and SA Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins did not respond to messages on Tuesday.
Koos Basson, Saru’s vice-president and a member of SA Rugby’s board, said, “De Villiers’s contract was approved, subject to certain conditions.”
He refused to say what the conditions were. “It won’t be fair to Peter,” he said.
The question of who will have the final say in team selections, as well as De Villiers’s salary, could be the cause of the problems.
SA Rugby deputy president Mike Stofile said Basson was probably trying to ensure that the correct procedures were followed.
“Peter should not be worried. The matter will be sorted out,” Stofile added.
However, another presidents’ council member said he was disappointed because Basson was “playing with legal terms. The contract has not been finalised,” he added.
“Peter is tired of certain officials trying to push through their own agendas.”
Cedric Frolick, vice-chair of the parliamentary sports portfolio committee, said, “It seems some individuals are trying to frustrate Peter in his job. One would have expected SA Rugby to work actively to finalise the contract.
“This goes back to the situation at the time of his appointment. There are people who feel he is not the right person and they want him to fail.
“I cannot understand how South African rugby is run. It looks like a bunch of people who do not know what they are doing. This raises serious questions about how they manage the sport,” Frolick said.
The matter of De Villiers’s assistant coaches has also not been finalised. This process could also be delayed by uncertainty about the coach’s future.
* Saru officially confirmed on Tuesday that Hoskins and Stofile had been nominated for the position of president. The election will take place on March 27.
Johan Prinsloo, chief executive of Saru, said Stofile would also be, as deputy president, automatically be eligible for re-election to his current position.
Other nominations for the deputy presidency are Tobie Titus (Western Province), Jan Marais (Griffons), Boet Fick (Blue Bulls) and Sampie Pienaar and Mark Alexander, both of the Golden Lions.
Rautie Rautenbach (Falcons), Pat da Silva (Eastern Province), Marais, Fick, Pienaar and Alexander have all been nominated for the position of vice-president.
News 24 – Stephen NellTweet