Hoskins hits campaign trail

Oregan Hoskins has revealed to keo.co.za that he met with a few northern-based Presidents in Johannesburg earlier today as he kicks off his campaign to oust Brian van Rooyen as Saru president. He denied any involvement from either Andre Markgraaff or Louis Luyt, as has been alleged.

“Andre phoned me on Sunday to wish me well,” Hoskins admitted. “But that was the first time I’ve spoken to him since he was deputy president of Saru. As for Louis Luyt, well I have no idea where that link comes from. I’ve greeted him on the odd occasion when he’s visited Absa Stadium, but have never actually spoken to him.”

Hoskins was speaking as both candidates for the Saru presidency begin to campaign in earnest for support.

“I have just had a meeting with some of the presidents in Johannesburg, just some of the guys who were in the vicinity. There were no special invitations. I reiterated to them that all I offer is honesty, integrity and a clean administration. That will be my message throughout this campaign.”

Despite the renowned bitterness and shady nature of rugby politics in South Africa, Hoskins is adamant he will not deal with presidents in exchange for votes.

“If I don’t win this election, I won’t be that upset. I will not sacrifice everything to win. I base my campaign on simple ethics, and if that’s what the rugby administrators in this country want, then I’m up for it.

“I only decided to stand for the presidency in the last couple of weeks. I was approached by various stakeholders in the game that got me thinking seriously about this. I have spoken to a number of unions, and when I saw that I do enjoy popular support, I decided to take this seriously.”

Hoskins’ campaign received a boost earlier today when Golden Lions CEO Andy Turner announced that his union would not support Van Rooyen in the election.

“I was pleasantly surprised by that decision. I take the vote of confidence in me very seriously, and I would like to repay that with honesty and integrity.”

Van Rooyen’s stint as president has been notable for the large amount of power returned to the president’s office, a situation Hoskins believes is not fully viable.

“A good way to illustrate this is to look back at when Rian [Oberholzer] and Silas [Nkanunu] were in power. There you had a very powerful CEO and a weaker president. The current situation is reversed. Brian is a very powerful president and Johan [Prinsloo] is not even in the picture. What we need is balance, as rugby guys we need to learn from our mistakes.”