PIENAAR to lead the pride?

SAMPIE Pienaar seems is the front-runner to take over as president of the Golden Lions Rugby Union after the resignation of the president Jannie Ferreira and deputy president Manie Reyneke on Tuesday.

SAMPIE Pienaar seems is the front-runner to take over as president of the Golden Lions Rugby Union after the resignation of the president Jannie Ferreira and deputy president Manie Reyneke on Tuesday.

Reyneke stays on as CEO of the union.

Pienaar, a long-standing member of the executive committee, is president of Alberton Rugby Club.

The resignations come after a club caucus meeting on Monday night where it was decided to request the resignation of the two senior office-bearers, ending Ferreira's 25-year association with the GLRU .

It seems the 74-10 drubbing the Golden Lions got at the hands of the touring British and Irish Lions last Wednesday was the final straw, with the Old Boys Trust, under chairperson Corrie Pypers, convening the caucus meeting.

Voluble at the meeting was the representative of the coaches association, Dr Willem Boshoff, whose son Leon's contract as an assistant coach to the Lions Super 14 team was terminated last month.

The associations were not consulted in the removal of Leon and head coach Eugene Eloff last week and the appointment of interim coach Hans Coetzee and his assistants Wimpie Vermeulen and Ian Macdonald.

The clubs requested that Pienaar be the acting president and that Pirates Rugby Club chairperson Altmann Allers be co-opted onto the executive committee until the annual general meeting. The AGM is likely to be brought forward from November to August in order for the newly elected executive committee to have more time before next season to get to grips with the union's planning and functioning.

The present executive committee has been in office since the end of 2005.

There is also great support for former Springbok lock Kevin de Klerk as president, but the member of the Old Boys Trust is not eligible at this stage and will only become so once a constitutional change has been effected.

Ferreira, in a statement issued yesterday, said he resigned in light of the uncertainties and to bring stability and calmness to the GLRU. He felt that it was best to step down to allow the dust to settle.

The statement goes on to say: "Reyneke felt it right to step down at the time of his appointment as CEO, but the executive committee asked him to stay on until October this year when elections would take place, and his term would end.

"With the resignation of Ferreira, Reyneke felt the time had come to stand down from the executive as well to spare them two separate elections." - Sapa

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