Zacks also turns his back on Bulls
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Yet another high-profile official has turned down an approach from the Blue Bulls Company.
Western Province Rugby Group CEO Paul Zacks has joined his Golden Lions counterpart Rudolf Straeuli in turning his back on the Bulls.
Zacks and Straeuli were both being courted to replace outgoing BBC CEO Barend van Graan, who will vacate his position at the end of January.
As is the case with the vacant position of Super Rugby coach – a result of John Mitchell’s decision to join Eddie Jones’ England coaching panel – willing candidates are hard to come by.
Zacks on Thursday poured cold water on reports linking him to a move to Pretoria, committing himself to his current role.
Zacks said he remains fully committed to his work with Western Province and will not be taking up a position elsewhere.
“There has been much speculation regarding my being considered for the CEO position at the Blue Bulls Company,” Zacks said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, the speculation within WP Rugby circles and in certain sections of the media has now reached a level where it is beginning to distract from the important work being done at WP Rugby, and thus can no longer be ignored.
“Accordingly, I wish to end the speculation and advise that I will NOT be taking up the opportunity.
“As has been correctly reported, I have always been, and remain, fully committed to WP Rugby in my current position as the Group CEO.
“It is no secret that there remains a great deal of work to be done to improve matters at WP Rugby, and having drawn up a strategy for the financial sustainability of the Group, my focus is on ensuring that those plans come to fruition and that ultimately WP Rugby is successful both on and off the field for many years to come.
“The spirit of the General Council meeting on Tuesday evening was for me a sign that, like our Currie Cup team, we are a couple of steps closer towards achieving our goals.
Commenting on the decision, President of the Western Province Rugby Football Union, Thelo Wakefield, said: “We are very pleased with Paul’s decision. Paul is a WP man through and through.
“His tenure at WP Rugby has coincided with a difficult period in our history, but I remain firmly convinced that his turnaround plan will see WP Rugby reach our goals and attain our vision of being the leading rugby union in the world. He has the full support and backing of all at WP Rugby.
“We are very pleased to put the speculation to rest and that Paul will remain at the helm of WP Rugby for the foreseeable future,” Wakefield added.