South Africa Springboks Rugby News

Hoskins: ‘I was right’



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South African Rugby Union (SARU) president Oregan Hoskins on Monday strongly defended his decision to ride roughshod over the selection of the 46-man Springbok training squad at the weekend.

The selections and coaching brainstrust of the national team have all expressed their unhappiness with the controversial manner in which Stormers skipper Luke Watson was added to the Bok training squad at the weekend.

The presidency of SARU – Hoskins, deputy president Koos Basson and vice-president Mike Stofile – confirmed that they made an “executive decision” to include Watson in the squad.

The statement from the presidency on Monday made it clear that they felt they did nothing wrong by adding Watson’s name to the original list of 45, despite strong protestations from the Bok coach (White) and his fellow selectors.

“The leadership of SA Rugby reiterates its position on the selection of players for the Springbok camp scheduled for Bloemfontein [from Wednesday, 16 May]. We are satisfied with the process that was followed in selecting the squad,” the statement said.

“To recap, the process is as follows:
* The selection panel compiles a list of suitable players and reaches consensus on the composition of the national team;
* Once finalised, the convener of selectors then forwards the team for final sign-off to the SARU Presidency and the Chairman of the Board of SA Rugby (Pty) Ltd. The SARU Presidency consists of the President, Deputy President and Vice-President;
* Once duly signed off, the team is then ready for public announcement.

“Further, we have noted media statements attributed to members of the selection panel. As is the case with any team selection, it is extremely difficult to find absolute consensus on who should be in the team.

“We accept that not all role-players in the selection process were in agreement on some of the players selected. Having said that, we are convinced that SA Rugby has named the best available 46 players for the training camp.

“We wish all players and the Springbok management the best of luck as they prepare for the international season. Finally, we call upon all South Africans to support the team as it prepares for a tough season.”

The statement, however, does not address the issue of what will happen with future selections.

Hoskins, who was not answering his phone on Monday, did not indicate if they will continue to force Watson onto the Springbok coaching staff if – as expected – he is cut from the squad when it is reduced to 30 on Friday.

By Jan de Koning 365 Digital

Note : An interview with Hoskins by SA radio host John Robbie this morning can be heard HERE.

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