SA Rugby confirmed on Thursday that it had assumed administrative control of the Eastern Province Rugby Union.
As reported by SARugbymag.co.za on Wednesday, the action enforces a decision taken by the executive council towards the end of last year, while executive committee member Monde Tabata has been appointed to the role of administrator.
A letter formally advising EP of the intention was delivered to the union on Monday, and the decision was taken after consultation with EPRU president Cheeky Watson.
'The executive council determined to step in some time ago, but without the consent of a union it is impossible to practically take such action,' SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said. 'We have now reached that point and trust that our intervention can assist in regularising the situation.'
However, Roux said that SA Rugby’s intervention did not mean that the mother body would provide new funding for the cash-strapped union.
'We will be working with all stakeholders to find solutions to EP’s problems, but we do not have a magic wand and there are months of hard work ahead. We have already had conversations with interested parties but it would be premature to say much more right now. We are working for the interests of rugby in the Eastern Province and will do everything to help them get back on their feet.'
Watson said that the decision had been confirmed in consultation with EP and that he and his union would fully cooperate with SA Rugby.
'I invited SA Rugby to assist with the Southern Kings and have done so with EP. We will do everything in our power to assist SA Rugby in their work.'
Executive council member Francois Davids has also been appointed as an interim chairman of EPRU committees.
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