Oberholzer stays for two more years

SA Rugby opts for continuity in extending CEO's contract

09 December 2023 - 11:19
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SA Rugby CEO Rian Oberholzer will be in the job for at least two more years.
SA Rugby CEO Rian Oberholzer will be in the job for at least two more years.
Image: Grant Pitcher (Gallo Images)

Rian Oberholzer will be boss at SA Rugby for at least two more years.

Continuity and organisational certainty were contributing factors in the 63-year-old getting the thumbs-up from SA Rugby's executive council to continue in his job.

Oberholzer was appointed on a one-year contract last year amid increasing pressure for SA Rugby to part ways with erstwhile CEO Jurie Roux.

Oberholzer will be in office until the end of 2025.

The organisation is on the brink of a fundamental overhaul as we continue our discussions with potential private equity partners and now is the time for continuity,” said Mark Alexander, president of the South African Rugby Union.

SA Rugby has been in negotiations with CVC Capital Partners and Roux continues to be a central player in getting the equity deal over the line.

CVC has a stake in the Six Nations, the Premiership and the United Rugby Championship.

Oberholzer meanwhile will maintain operational control of the local game's governing body.

Rian’s vast experience in rugby and business has seen him slot seamlessly back into a role he had previously held and he is the right person to be steering the ship as we chart a new course,” added Alexander.

Oberholzer, who before he took the job last year steered WP Rugby as its administrator, has a long CV in the game. He was tournament director of the 1995 Rugby World Cup and CEO of SA Rugby between 1996 and 2003. He was the first CEO of SANZAR (South Africa New Zealand Australia Rugby) and was a key administrator in the establishment of the Super Rugby and Rugby Championship (formerly Tri-Nations) tournaments.

Oberholzer also served on the council of what was then the International Rugby Board (now World Rugby) and was director of Rugby World Cup Ltd. He founded and managed sports marketing and eventing companies after leaving SA Rugby.


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