SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux insists he's going nowhere

Jurie Roux (SARU CEO) during the South African launch of Guinness PRO14 at Southern Sun Cullinan on August 11, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Jurie Roux (SARU CEO) during the South African launch of Guinness PRO14 at Southern Sun Cullinan on August 11, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images

SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux has denied reports linking him with a plum move to the World Rugby headquarters in Dublin‚ Ireland.

It was recently widely speculated that Roux would be leaving the SA governing body at the end for the year to take up the chief executive’s job at World Rugby but the man himself has clarified his position.

“In terms of me joining World Rugby‚ I tend not to lie in these conversations. I am 100 percent committed to SA Rugby because I am enjoying my time here‚” said Roux.

Roux said he would leave SA Rugby in the middle of a challenging period that has come as a result of the outbreak of Covid-19 where they are working on creative and safe ways to return to action.

“We are in the midst of the biggest challenge that personally I have never been involved in. It has been a really tough time and I would hate to leave any organisation in that environment.”

SA Rugby are currently engaging government on the protocols to employ to ensure a safe return to training and ultimately competitive matches. There is still hope that the postponed July Tests against Georgia and Scotland could still take place in October.

SA Rugby are also workshopping plans for the northern hemisphere tour in November that has not been cancelled and the possibility of playing the Rugby Championship in a single venue in ‘a bubble’.

Roux said one of the key reasons behind his decision to stay in the country is his desire to be part of the marquee British and Irish Lions tour in July next year with three Tests against the Springboks at FNB Stadium‚ Cape Town Stadium and Ellis Park.

The British and Irish Lions will also play against the Stormers‚ an SA ‘Invitational’‚ the Sharks‚ South Africa ‘A’ and the Bulls during their highly anticipated month long-tour that only takes place once every twelve years.

“We have the greatest tour in the world in the form of the British and Irish Lions coming to the country next year and I can’t wait to be part of it and that environment.

"There are a few things that I wouldn’t change for a British and Irish Lions tour. So‚ I am here‚ I am not going anywhere and hopefully nothing will happen that will stop the tour next year.

“The development of the pandemic and its varying impact around the world has made for a fluid situation and we have had to be responsive in our planning.

"That means we have looked at a number of contingencies around scheduling. We have those scenarios in place‚ but the main question now is when it will be safe for international travel and for mass gatherings.

"It would be a disappointment if a Lions series had to be played behind closed doors‚ but that is not a scenario for which we are currently planning.”