Markies in the mix again

Andre Markgraaff met with SARU president Regan Hoskins last week — at Markgraaff’s request. has learned that Markies informed Hoskins that as long as Jake White was coach of the Springboks he (Markies) would not be interested in any position within SA Rugby. Hoskins is said to have stood his ground and given White the necessary support.

It has also been learned that Hoskins was in favour of extending White’s contract, but SARU vice president Koos Basson was the one who said it was unconstitutional. Basson and Markgraaff are close and Basson was one of the rebel five who more than a year ago met in Stellenbosch in an attempt to get rid of Brian van Rooyen.

Basson is the former president of WP.

Hoskins, four months into his job as president, is now starting to find out how the provincial agenda system works. He is starting to wade through the mess that doubles as a national decision-making system for SA Rugby. The decision agreed to at breakfast is not the decision confirmed at lunch. The new president is fighting this lack of ethical behaviour within the system, but he seems to be a lone ranger.

White and Hoskins have met on a few occasions and Hoskins has committed himself to White being the coach until 2009. The meeting between Hoskins and Markgraaff is known to have added to White’s paranoia about his job security. White has for some time known that Markgraaff was working behind the scenes against him after White was primary to Markgraaff’s resignation on the eve of the Boks win against the All Blacks last June.

White will meet with Hoskins on Thursday. Hoskins also met with Bok captain John Smit to discuss issues around the Springboks.

The SARU president has admitted SARU does not have a plan B and a coaching succession plan in place because they felt it unnecessary. He says White has his full support, but he is not mandated or empowered to make the call himself.

Hoskins has acted with integrity throughout and is still hopeful of finding a resolution. His biggest enemy is those who sit opposite him at the table. His biggest fight is from within and not across the ocean. Four months into the job he is finding that a president with an opinion does not survive his two year tenure. A puppet, though, can stay for as long as he pleases.